Asbestos Shingles: The Deadly Material In Your Home
Asbestos shingles are the roofing material made from asbestos, a mineral fiber. Asbestos was used commonly in a variety of building construction materials because of its insulation and fire-retardant properties. Even today, asbestos is found in older homes in materials such as asbestos roofing shingles, pipes, furnace insulation materials, millboard, textured paints, other coating materials, and floor tiles. Asbestos became popular as an additive to many building materials because of its inherent properties such as softness, pliability and resistance to heat and chemical corrosion. Asbestos that is bonded into finished products such as walls and tile poses minimal or no risk to health as long as it is not damaged or disturbed. However, sawing or drilling of asbestos materials could release asbestos fibers in the air and pose severe health risks for the occupants of the premises.
Health Effects Of Asbestos Shingles:
Exposure to damaged asbestos shingles may cause asbestos exposure that in turn could make the residents vulnerable to serious asbestos based diseases such as asbestosis, lung cancers and mesothelioma cancers. Smokers are at a higher risk of developing asbestos-induced lung cancer. The most dangerous aspect about asbestos fibers is that they are too small to be visible. Once inhaled, they get clogged in the lungs to cause severe damage to the person. Moreover, the symptoms of asbestos exposure and diseases do not show up until many years after the exposure.
Steps To Reduce Asbestos Exposure From Asbestos Shingles:
No protection from asbestos shingles is required if they are intact and you can leave them alone. However, if the shingles are damaged and pose the risk of releasing asbestos fibers, the best option will be to repair or remove. This process of repair or removal of asbestos materials is known as asbestos abatement. Encapsulation and enclosure are different methods of asbestos abatement. Sealing (encapsulation) involves treating the material with a sealant that either binds the asbestos fibers together or coats the material. Covering (enclosure) involves placing something over or around the material that contains asbestos to prevent release of fibers.
Removal of asbestos shingles should begin with the upper row of shingles. A wide blade instrument should be used to reduce the risk of damage to the shingles. To avoid exposure, place the shingles in a box or bucket and lower to the ground. Asbestos shingles should be packaged in a strong box lined with a plastic trash bag. Finally, removed asbestos shingles and associated waste materials should be taken into the appropriate roll-off dumpster.
About the Author: Kirsten Hawkins is a asbestos and mesothelioma specialist from Nashville, TN. Visit http://www.asbestosblog.org/ for information on asbestos reform, mesothelioma lawsuit news, and more.