Asbestos is a mineral fiber that has been used commonly in a variety of building construction materials for insulation and as a fire-retardant. EPA and CPSC have banned several asbestos products. Manufacturers have also voluntarily limited uses of asbestos. Today, asbestos is most commonly found in older homes, in pipe and furnace insulation materials, asbestos roofing shingles, millboard, textured paints and other coating materials, floor tiles, and mastics.
Although asbestos has desirable building characteristics it has been found to cause lung cancer and lung disease when microscopic fibers are inhaled. Elevated concentrations of airborne asbestos fibers can occur after asbestos-containing materials are disturbed by cutting, sanding or other remodeling activities. Improper attempts to remove these materials can release asbestos fibers into the indoor environment, increasing asbestos levels and endangering people and animals. Some of the sources associated with Asbestos contamination are: Deteriorating, damaged, or disturbed insulation, fireproofing, acoustical materials, wall board, joint compound and floor tiles.
The professionals at Andersen Environmental are trained and State certified in asbestos testing and assessment in homes, commercial, and industrial properties. The Los Angeles asbestos testing specialists at Andersen Environmental can also help coordinate the removal of such material or develop management plans for asbestos that remains in good condition.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), exposure to Asbestos causes no immediate symptoms, but poses long-term risk of chest and abdominal cancers and lung diseases. Smokers are at higher risk of developing asbestos-induced lung cancer. The most dangerous asbestos fibers are too small to be visible. After they are inhaled, they can remain and accumulate in the lungs. Asbestos can cause lung cancer, mesothelioma (a cancer of the chest and abdominal linings), and asbestosis (irreversible lung scarring that can be fatal). Symptoms of these diseases do not show up until many years after exposure began. Most people with asbestos-related diseases were exposed to elevated concentrations on the job; some developed disease from exposure to clothing and equipment brought home from job sites.
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