Asbestos – does it matter?

What is Asbestos? Where is it?

Asbestos was often used in the construction of residential properties, particularly in the 1950s to 1970s. Asbestos was primarily used as an insulator because it is heat resistant and has a high tensile strength. It was contained in products such as pipe and duct insulation on heating systems, sealers on heating boilers, roofing materials, siding, stucco, plaster, drywall compound, panelling, cement, ceiling tiles, floor tiles, and wall and attic insulation.

What are the health effects of Asbestos?

Generally, the existence of asbestos in materials is not hazardous unless disturbed. However, during renovations or demolition work, existing asbestos may be released into the air. The small asbestos fibres that float into the air may cause cancer and other types of lung disease (i.e. asbestosis and mesothelioma) when inhaled. Not all products that contain asbestos are equal in their risk of illness. For example, the fibres in pipe insulation are more likely to break off and become airborne than fibres in floor tiles. Nevertheless, caution should be exercised when dealing with any products that contain asbestos.