Although many people are aware that are closely related, you may be unaware that you can still be exposed to asbestos in your Ohio home. This is especially true if you live in an older home. Today, most building products do not contain asbestos and those that do must be labeled clearly. In addition, there are strict rules for how asbestos must be removed should it be discovered. Therefore, it is important to understand where you may be exposed to asbestos and what to do should you discover it in your home.
Heating and air conditioning
Prior to 1978, it was very common for heating and air conditioning components to have asbestos insulation or tape. Because asbestos is heat-resistant, it was often used to cover boilers, furnace ducts and steam pipes. It may also be part of the door gaskets in your coal or wood-burning stove or your furnace. A gas fireplace may have artificial ashes or embers that contain asbestos and antique stove top pads, fireplace gloves, hairdryers and ironing board covers may contain asbestos. If any of these items are damaged, they could release asbestos fibers in the air which can then be inhaled.
Decorative interior items
Asbestos may also exist in places you may not expect. Older vinyl sheet flooring and tiles may contain asbestos. Scraping or sanding the tiles could release asbestos particles into the air. In homes built before 1977, decorative or soundproofing materials placed on walls may contain asbestos as could textured paints or joint compounds. Your older home may also have asbestos paper or millboard around the fireplace.
Insulation in your home
From 1930 to 1950, it was very common for insulation to contain asbestos. If you are remodeling a home that was built during that time, it is critical that you contact a professional before tearing out any insulation. If you do not take the proper precautions, you could release asbestos fibers in the air. Asbestos is made up of tiny particles that may not be visible to the naked eye. They can enter your lungs and imbed themselves in the lining which could result in the development of mesothelioma or other types of cancer many years after exposure.