What is Asbestos and How to Detect it

Published by Handy Work on

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral which is found in all kinds of rocks. It has been used for insulation purposes since ancient times. It is a natural mineral that has been used as a material for insulation, and also as a fire retardant. Since ancient times, people have been using asbestos to insulate their houses.

It was extremely effective and also inexpensive, which meant that people widely used it without thinking about the health risks.

In the manufacturing industry, they use asbestos to prevent fires. Although asbestos was once very popular, it caused many harmful effects when inhaled by humans.

The Health Effects of Asbestos Exposure

Asbestos exposure can lead to several different diseases including:

Lung cancer

It is possible to get lung cancer even if you have never smoked, but it is extremely rare. The lung cancer caused by asbestos is usually more severe than by smoking cigarettes. However, both can be just as deadly if it is not diagnosed and treated early enough.

There are several types of lung cancer that asbestos exposure can cause, including:

Lung carcinoma

This type of cancer can develop everywhere in the lungs but tends to grow more quickly in the outer edges. This type may grow slowly over time before eventually causing symptoms however it can also be aggressive and fast growing

Cancerous mesothelioma

This form of cancer develops around the lining of the lung (the mesothelioma) due to asbestos exposure Symptoms:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Coughing
  • Blood stained mucus
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Pain in other parts of body such as hips, legs etc
  • Vomiting and nausea Loss of appetite
What is Asbestos and How to Detect it

How to Detect It at Home?

Asbestos is very difficult to detect because it is very difficult to detect. Tiny asbestos particles will break off when heated or when the materials become very hot.

We can find asbestos in old buildings and homes, or in products that no longer contain asbestos such as ceiling tiles or insulation.

Asbestos is usually found in old buildings and homes. It is common to find asbestos in older buildings because many countries banned it after the 1980s.

Asbestos was banned in many countries around the world before the 80’s, so many people will have come into contact with it at some point. However, not everyone will have been affected by it.

We may find asbestos in the walls, roofs or other places that contain insulation. We may find asbestos in older buildings if new building materials, such as plasterboard, cement sheets and others.

How Can You Detect Asbestos?

Because asbestos is so dangerous when inhaled, any amount of exposure is dangerous especially for those who have a compromised immune system such as those with chronic respiratory conditions like asthma.

If you think there might be asbestos on your property there are several steps you can take to determine whether you need to call a professional:

Look for signs of possible damage

If you know that your building was built before 1980 then it is likely that there will be some asbestos present however this isn’t always the case If you notice any broken tiles or plasterboard then this could indicate where asbestos has been damaged If you see any cracks in ceilings or walls then check them carefully for small shiny fibers (this could also indicate dry rot)


Asbestos has few odours so if you notice any unusual smells coming from your home it could indicate an underlying problem

If you suspect that you have asbestos in your home then it is important to get professional advice. You may also be able to get help from your local council who will arrange for a professional to come and inspect your home and check for asbestos.

This may take several weeks as councils are often very busy but it is much better than taking a risk. If you are an owner occupier then you can hire a professional yourself if you wish to do so.

RELATED: The Best Cost Effective Ways to Heat a Room

Asbestos Removal Services

If you suspect that there is asbestos in your home, then you need to decide what action needs to be taken next. If there is a lot of asbestos present then a removal specialist will need to be called into the home at the earliest opportunity.

Removing asbestos can be very dangerous for those who don’t know what they are doing and so professionals who have handled this type of material many times before must only do it.

Sometimes, such as when there is very little asbestos present or if only one part of the building contains it, then remediation work may be done instead of complete removal.

Remediating means that you have to remove the damage that is visible from your home by removing the damaged areas and then sealing the rest. It is important to take care that everything you own until you remove it from your house, damaging nothing in your home or putting yourself in danger.


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