Asbestos is generally not used in modern construction in the United States and hasn’t been since the 1970s. But that doesn’t mean that it’s gone. Asbestos still exists in many buildings where it was used in tile or insulation in the past.
Homeowners know that this is a potential threat, as do renovation teams that have to break into these old materials. As such, they may wonder if they can identify asbestos by sight. If you’re going to be working on one of these projects, for instance, what should you be looking for? Can you tell if there’s a risk?
Three main colors
As a general rule, asbestos is going to consist of long, thin fibers. These tend to be brown, blue or white, depending on the type of asbestos that was used. For instance, insulation around pipes often uses white asbestos, which is what most people are looking for.
However, you’re not going to see these colors or the asbestos fibers unless there is a large clump of asbestos in one place. The actual fibers themselves, on their own, are microscopic. The risk comes from breathing them in when you can’t even see them.
For example, asbestos may be present in tiles in a bathroom, and it has to be removed. But as the tiles are broken and shattered during removal, dust fills the air, and that dust contains some microscopic and invisible asbestos particles.
What options do you have?
Asbestos exposure can lead to serious health complications and ailments. It sometimes leads to an aggressive type of cancer that is known as mesothelioma. If you have been exposed and you are facing these types of complications, you need to know exactly what type of medical treatment is necessary and what legal options you may have to seek potential compensation.