The asbestos scare has gone way out of proportion. If your house is in your
opinion "contaminated" but you can't see it (there are no piles of asbestos lying
about) you will probably inhale just as much fibers as you would be on a normal
sunny day in traffic!
But if you are still worried now is the time to quit smoking. Most people are
worried about lung cancer and not asbestosis which is more directly related to
asbestos. But to get asbestosis you'd have to inhale it on a regular basis for
years and years. But getting back to lung cancer ... the current thinking on how
asbestos fibers could cause cancer is this: the smallest asbestos fibers are so
small that they may puncture cell walls without destoying the them. While
asbestos itself does not contain carcinogens particles from smoking does. And if
that stuff is near the punctured cell carcinogens may enter the cell and cause a
mutation and cancer.
FWIW, I grew up in a house with asbestos shingles. Never did me any harm.
My mother worked for Johns-Manville, the asbestos king, in offices which
were decorated almost entirely in asbestos--asbestos wallpaper, asbestos
desks, asbestos upholstery, showcases for the stuff--she lived into her
late '80s and as far as I know asbestos has not been associated with
On the other hand, I'd be very surprised if there were still any asbestos
brake pads in service.
Unfortunately the national pastime seems to be scaring ourselves to death.
You watch to much Media, you over reacting. Most people that get
Asbestoses (sp) have worked around it before the dangers were known. I will
bet your wearing one of those paper dust mask. Why do so many people love
dome? Look at the bright side of things. Hell the Vacuum guys are probably
still laughing. Maybe Prozac is the answer
We've seen this happen to a friend of ours. Vermiculite
However much everyone (including your husband ;-) tells you that
asbestos isn't a big deal, and that cleaning the house with HEPA has
eliminated any possible hazard, and that you should just relax,
simply doesn't make the anxiety go away. Does it?
It's because you can't see it, and you're not sure.
I can understand that feeling (fortunately I'm not prone to it).
Here's how you stop that feeling:
Call a lab (look in the yellow papers under Asbestos abatement or
such like), and have them do an air test.
They'll install a couple of small filters in the house that will
collect whatever's in the air for the next couple of months. Then,
they analyze what's on the filter. It'll cost anywhere from
When they come back to you with a report that says "zero", you'll
feel much better.
If it says anything other than zero, you could get it retested
by _another_ company.
If you end up with a reading _other_ than zero (which I HIGHLY
doubt from your description), call an asbestos _consultant_
(_not_ a removal contractor) and have them review the test
results. That might not cost very much at all (they might
be willing to answer you over the phone based on the test
numbers). And they'll tell you that there's no problem.
That's what our friend did. She's not worried about it any
[She was getting zeros from air tests. The consultant
said "you don't have a problem". But, the first vermiculite
test said "trace" (meaning somewhere between barely detectable
and 2-3%), and that scared her. The second, more accurate,
asbestos test of the vermiculite (done by another company)
showed it was <.1%, and we had sealed the few potential
leaks. So, yeah, there were minute quantities of asbestos
in some of their insulation, but it was sealed off, and
air tests showed NONE of it in the air over a period of
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
It\'s not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
Unless you want to tear your home down and start over....relax! Keep it
clean, keep the duct work cleaned,and keep your furnace filters changed.
A good air purifier would be a nice touch(sharper image).
Relax and enjoy your life, it goes by too quickly.
There are several consequences of asbestos exposure. Chronic interstitial
lung disease generally requires prolonged exposure. Lung cancer (which
typically occurs 15 or more years later) is dose related and has a strong
(more than additiive) association with smoking. Mesothelioma can occur with
short ( 1 - 2 year) exposures after an interval of 20 + years not peaking
until 30 to 35 years after exposure.
Housewives whose only contact with asbestos was laundering their spouses
absestos contaminated work clothing have been afflicted. So "casual"
indirect contact of this nature can cause disease.
Life is just full of risks its important to keep them in perspective!
Driving is no doubt the easiest way to get killed or severly injured.
more people die in the bathroom than anywhere else.
be outside in the rain might get you exposed to radiation from
chernobyle, the russian nuclear meltdown.
staying inside you home can cause health troubles from lack of sun
exposure, while being outside in the sun can get you skin cancer.
so you cleaned up the home used professionals.
buy a pricey hepa vacuumn, and work extra hard at keeping your home
clean. at least it will look good.
I am 49 when I was a kid my job was brooming the furnace ductwork, give
it a good cleaning. all covered with asbestos.
theres probably more in the existing envronment than what you
introduced by stirring it up.
really make a difference to your childs health! NEVER ALLOW THEM AROUND
TOBACCO SMOKE! Its way more dangerous and still to prevelant.
Ok now that's scaring me...... I would hope though that my family's
exposure would still be much much smaller than the housewives who were
doing this (laundry) probably day in day out so they might as well have
worked in the factories themselves.
Has anyone else gone through the same i.e., remove asbestos
accidentally and if yes how did they deal with it????
You have already been given lots of good advice. Asbestos has
been identified as a carcinogen when it is in a friable condition.
The floor tiles and the cut back adhesive that held them are not
basically friable (dust, powder, pulverized - flying in the air).
They can become friable by grinding, sanding, etc. The duct
asbestos was probably the paper thin type and it would again
depend on what you did to it during the remodel.
The basic precaution for any asbestos work is to keep it wet. By
keeping it wet it does not become friable. I don't know what
method(s) you did use during your remodel work, but I would not
worry about anything unless you created a major friable
circumstance. Even then, we must assume the dust has settled
after 2 years. Wipe up any dust with a damp rag and a squirt
bottle of water. There are testing agencies that will monitor the
air in your space if you want to hire them. It is a small
vacuum/fan with a filter disk and you would place several around
various places in the house including the attic and basement. The
filters are taken to a lab for analysis. If this would provide
peace of mind, I think you should go ahead and contact a testing
During professional asbestos removal, the building is kept under
negative pressure by use of very large vacuum(s) that draw the
air through a filter. The building will be kept under negative
pressure until the removal/disturbance is complete and until the
filter readings test clear.
Keep the whole world singing . . . .
DanG (remove the sevens)
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