What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a natural mineral with unusal qualities. It is strong enough to resist high temperatures, chemical attack and wear. A poor conductor, it insulates well against heat and electricity.

 Asbestos crystals become long, flexible, silky fibres, so it can be made into a wide variety of forms.
It can spun into yard, woven into cloth or braided into rope. Asbestos can also be added to materials as diverse as cotton and cement. 

For half a century, until the 1980's asbestos was used in office buildings public buildings and schools. It insulated hot water heating systems, and was put into walls and ceilings as insulation against fire and sound.

Asbestos has been in many residential building products around the house. It has been used in shingles for roofing, exterior siding, pipes and bolier covering, wallboard, drywall compound, acoustical ceiling tiles and in some loose-fill vermiculite insulation.

When can Asbestos be a problem in the home? 

Today, far fewer products in the home contain asbestos. Current products that do contain the material are better made to withstand wear and use.

However, frequent or prolonged exposure to asbestos fibres may still bring health risks. This can happen with the release of fibres into the air when asbestos-containin products break down, either through deterioration as they age or when they are cut. People can put themselves at risk - often without realizing it - if they do not take proper precautions when repairs or renovations disturb asbestos- containing materials.
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