How To Know Your Home Is Asbestos Safe

Asbestos is nothing to play with and can be very dangerous to your health.  It was often used in residential buildings that were built before 1981.  Asbestos exposure has been shown to cause lung cancer and other lung diseases and it will do you a lot of good to learn more about it.

If you rent an apartment or house, then your landlord is required by law to tell you about the presence of asbestos if they are aware of it themselves.  Even if your landlord has not tested your apartment or house for it, strict federal OSHA asbestos laws require them to act as if asbestos is present if your home was built before 1981.

Although these laws do exist, in most cases the burden of finding and dealing with asbestos often falls on the tenants.  Thankfully, asbestos is no longer suspected to be much of a health risk in homes these days.  As long as asbestos is left alone, it is not dangerous.  It is when it is falling apart and being removed that it causes the most health risk.  This means that construction workers are the most likely people to have negative health effects if they are not protected.

If you know your home has asbestos, then it is extremely important that you monitor it.  You should be on the lookout for possible asbestos in older homes and apartments.  Around the hot water boiler, in ceilings, and in vinyl floor coverings are just some of the places that you can find asbestos.  As long as it stays intact and remains untouched, it is fairly harmless.

If you believe that your apartment or home has friable or breaking up asbestos, check it out.  Speak with your landlord about getting your apartment or home tested.  If they refuse, then you can have a laboratory run an inexpensive test yourself.  In most cases you can send off a piece of the suspected asbestos area to a local lab for no more than $25.  If your test comes back positive for asbestos, then you should contact your landlord immediately.

Once your landlord is aware of it, he or she is required to take the steps necessary to contain it, even if it means they have to temporarily evict tenants to alternate housing.  If they don’t, then they will be liable for any injuries or illnesses their tenants’ get.

You can get more information about asbestos and the dangers of it by calling OSHA.  They can answer any questions that you may have and give you advice on how to deal with your asbestos if your home has tested positive for it.  If your landlord does not want to do the right thing and take care of it for you, you may have to contact a lawyer to get anything done.  You are not required to take care of it yourself.  That is the landlord’s job and they are responsible for anything that happens if they don’t take care of it.

WARNING: Always wear the proper safety equipment and follow all directions when dealing with asbestos.  If in doubt, leave the work to professionals to prevent any serious injuries or illnesses from dealing with this chemical.