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Asbestos Tip Sheet White Papers

- Asbestos Tip Sheet White Papers

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is the name given to a number of naturally occurring fibrous silicate minerals that have been mined for their useful properties such as thermal insulation, chemical and thermal stability, and high tensile strength.

The three most common types of asbestos are:

a) chrysotile

b) amosite

c) crocidolite

true Asbestos can only be identified under a microscope

true Asbestos can only be identified under a microscope

  • serpentines have a sheet or layered structure
  • amphiboles have a chain-like structure

As the only member of the serpentine group, Chrysotile is the most common type of asbestos found in buildings.

Chrysotile makes up approximately 90% of all asbestos contained in buildings in the US

In the amphibole group, there are five types of asbestos. Amosite is the second most prevalent type of asbestos found in building materials. Amosite is also known as “brown asbestos.”

Why is asbestos a hazard?

Asbestos is made up of microscopic bundles of fibers that may become airborne when distributed. These fibers get into the air and may become inhaled into the lungs, where they may cause significant health problems. Researchers still have not determined a “safe level” of exposure but we know the greater and the longer the exposure, the greater the risk of contracting an asbestos related disease.

Some health problems include:

Asbestosis – a lung disease first found in naval shipyard workers. As asbestos fibers are inhaled, they may become trapped in the lung tissue. The body tries to dissolve the fibers by producing an acid. This acid, due to the chemical resistance of the fiber, does little to damage the fiber, but may scar the surrounding tissue. Eventually, this scarring may become so severe that the lungs cannot function. The latency period (meaning the time it takes for the disease to become developed) is often 25-40 years.

Mesothelioma – a cancer of the pleura (the outer lining of the lung and chest cavity) or the peritoneum (the lining of the abdominal wall). The latency period for mesothelioma is often 15-30 years. The only known cause is from asbestos exposure.

Despite common misconceptions, asbestos does not cause

head-aches,

sore muscles

or other immediate symptoms.

When is asbestos a hazard? Asbestos is not always an immediate hazard. In fact, if asbestos can be maintained in good condition, it is recommended that it be left alone and periodic surveillance performed to monitor its condition. It is only when asbestos containing materials (ACM) are disturbed or the materials become damaged that it becomes a hazard. When the materials become damaged, the fibers separate and may then become airborne.

In the asbestos industry,

‘friable’ is used to describe asbestos that can be reduced to dust by hand

‘Non-friable’ means asbestos that is too hard to be reduced to dust by hand. Non-friable materials, such as transite siding and roofing are not regulated provided it does not become friable. Machine grinding, sanding and dry-buffing are ways of causing non-friable materials to become friable.

- Asbestos Tip Sheet White Papers

Asbestos is a serious health risk—and it may be in your home.

Educate yourself with this helpful asbestos fact sheet from the EPA and Real Good Roofing

- Asbestos Tip Sheet White Papers

- Asbestos Tip Sheet White Papers

- Asbestos Tip Sheet White Papers

Asbestos is a serious health risk—and it may be in your home.

Educate yourself with this helpful asbestos fact sheet from the EPA and Real Good Roofing

- Asbestos Tip Sheet White Papers

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS FROM THE PUBLIC

Where is asbestos usually found?

Asbestos is a very small fiber that cannot be identified with the naked eye. It has been used in thousands of commercial products because of its insulating and durable characteristics. Some common types of possible asbestos containing materials are pipe insulation, textured ceiling coatings, plaster, floor tiles, siding, and roofing shingles.

How do I know if it’s asbestos?

Only certified professionals are allowed to take samples for laboratory analysis and only an accredited laboratory can positively identify asbestos containing materials.

Will HCDOES check my building for asbestos?

This agency does not perform asbestos surveys. Contact a certified asbestos contractor for this service.

My neighbors are having their asbestos roof/siding removed. Should I be concerned?

Typically the removal and disposal of this type of asbestos containing material is not regulated (from a residential standpoint) if removed properly. If the material is not being handled properly (for example it is being crushed, pulverized, reduced to powder, or broken extensively) contact a local EPA official.

Do I have to have a specialist remove asbestos?

If the asbestos is in an unregulated structure, it is not subject to the regulations and therefore a specialist is not required to remove it. If the asbestos is in a regulated structure, but is below the regulated amounts (260 linear feet, 160 square feet, 35 cubic feet of regulated asbestos containing material or any amount of Category I or II which remains in good condition), a specialist does not have to remove it. If you are still unsure whether or not a specialist should remove the asbestos, please call one of the agency personnel listed below.

Who can I contact if I have any additional questions?

Ken Wilkins at (513) 946-7743  Christina Boss at (513) 946-7702

Roofing Shingles – Mesothelioma and Asbestos Exposure Risks

Asbestos was widely used in home and commercial construction through the mid-70s. One of the most commonly known uses for asbestos materials was in roofing shingles or tiles. If your home was built or renovated anytime before 1983, in fact, it is quite likely that your roofing shingles are asbestos roofing shingles. Since that time, most manufacturers have sought out alternative materials for roofing, and asbestos roofing shingles are less common in newer buildings.

Asbestos is a serious health risk—and it may be in your home.

Educate yourself with this helpful asbestos fact sheet from the EPA and Real Good Roofing

While roofs made with asbestos or transite roofing shingles were commonly called “asbestos roofs”, the truth is that most contain less than 30% asbestos fibers. They are classified as “asbestos containing materials”, or ACM.

Transite, the most common type of asbestos roofing tiles, was made with Portland cement and asbestos fibers, often with other fibers and materials added. The asbestos cement mixture could be molded and cut to shape. It could be drilled with holes, making it easier to align shingles and design roofs. The addition of asbestos to the Portland cement added more than just fire resistance, though that was a big part of the reason. Asbestos is corrosion and rot resistant as well, and extremely durable. Roofs covered with transite roofing shingles, if maintained properly, will last up to 100 years.

- Asbestos Tip Sheet White Papers

Today, asbestos is a frightening word. Since the mid-seventies, it’s become common knowledge that asbestos – or at least asbestos fibers and dust – is dangerous. When it is “friable” – a word applied to asbestos fibers that can become airborne – it can be inhaled and ingested. The inhaled and/or ingested asbestos fibers are the only known cause of a rare cancer called mesothelioma.

While it’s described as “rare”, the incidence of mesothelioma is rising and is expected to continue to rise for the next ten to twenty years as those people who were exposed to asbestos through the 1970s and early 1980s develop the condition. Because of the association of mesothelioma with asbestos, many people panic when they learn that their roofs are made with asbestos shingles.

While friable asbestos presents a very real health hazard to those who are exposed to it, according to most reliable sources asbestos containing roof shingles that are in good condition are not dangerous. It is when they become deteriorated or when a building made with asbestos roof shingles is demolished that there is a danger from the breakage of the asbestos shingles.

There is reason for concern though.  Asbestos roofs are an expensive project due to the risk and associated potential health risks. Some roofers refuse to work on asbestos roofs. Others will, but at inflated pricing to cover the special dump fees and equipment they use to safely remove the tiles.

Asbestos is a serious health risk—and it may be in your home.

Educate yourself with this helpful asbestos fact sheet from the EPA and Real Good Roofing

- Asbestos Tip Sheet White Papers

- Asbestos Tip Sheet White Papers

- Asbestos Tip Sheet White Papers

 

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