Asbestos Testing Is The Law
If you live in Colorado and are considering remodeling your home, you MUST first perform an asbestos test regardless of what year the building was built.
This also applies to any damaged building materials in the home or business caused by water damage, fire damage, Etc.
Asbestos materials were banned in the United States in 1989; however, materials that had already been made were allowed to be sold even after 1989. Recently the United States has lifted the ban on asbestos products, making it legal to once again sell products that contain asbestos.
There are over 3,100 construction applications and materials that contain asbestos, many of which can still be purchased today. There is absolutely no way to tell if a material contains asbestos without testing, so DO NOT ALLOW a contractor to tell you “This is not asbestos, I can tell by looking at it”.
Colorado state law requires a test to prove the material is not asbestos containing or the material is to be presumed asbestos containing and to be removed as such. This is primarily due to the fact that building materials today are still made with Asbestos and can be used in a brand-new, just built home.
These are the only materials excluded, which do not require testing for Asbestos:
- Foam Glass
- Quarry Stone
Why Is Asbestos Harmful?
Asbestos is EXTREMELY harmful when exposed and inhaled into your lungs! When asbestos is disturbed, it releases dust (consisting of those microscopic fibrils that are easily broken off into the air) which can then be inhaled into the lungs, causing serious diseases like asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma.
Does Asbestos Cause Asbestosis?
Asbestosis causes persistent and long-term inflammation and scarring in the lungs. It results in symptoms like coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and a feeling of chest tightness. It can lead to other complications and even death since there is no specific treatment or cure for asbestosis.
Does Asbestos Cause Lung Cancer?
Lung cancer develops within the respiratory tissues of your lungs. While lung cancer most commonly develops from long-term tobacco smoking, it is also a frequent result of prolonged exposure to asbestos. Someone who smokes tobacco and works with asbestos regularly is 45 times more likely to get lung cancer than the general population. Symptoms include coughing, weight loss, difficulty breathing, and chest pain.
Does Asbestos Cause Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is another form of cancer, but it differs from lung cancer in that mesothelioma develops on the layer of tissue that surrounds the lungs and/or on the chest wall, whereas lung cancer is within the lungs themselves. Over 80% of all mesothelioma sufferers developed it after prolonged exposure to asbestos. Symptoms are similar to those of lung cancer but may also include a swollen abdomen or chest wall pain as well.
The kicker with all of these ill effects of asbestos is that they don’t onset until 10 to 50 years after someone’s exposure to the substance. The greater and longer the exposure, the higher the risk of contracting one of these diseases.
Why Test For Asbestos?
If you are planning to make any renovations or alterations to your home or office, you must have it tested for the presence of asbestos before you begin to ensure that you will not release clouds of dangerous asbestos dust into the air.
Asbestos products may have been used in your home or office’s flooring material, insulation, drywall, siding, and roof shingles, so even the most basic of projects could cause major problems.
When Should You Test For Asbestos?
It’s often not apparent when your home or office was built with materials that contain asbestos because most of them are not labeled. As a result, the only way to know for sure is to have the materials on your property professionally tested.
If you are buying, selling, or renting a property, testing for asbestos will ensure a health home or business for the occupants and tenants This way you can either choose a different property, make sure that the asbestos has been properly abated, or at least know that it will not pose a threat to your health.
How Environmental Testing Solutions Can Help
Our team of certified professionals will conduct a site survey of your home or business to search for and collect samples from materials that potentially contain asbestos, and then we will verify this by having an accredited lab test the samples. We will then compile and send you a comprehensive report document with the results.
Based on this report, we will discuss with you whether your home or office contains asbestos that may pose a risk to your health and if it will require professional remediation.
Fortunately, it often turns out that as long as the asbestos is not disturbed (as it would be in a demolition or renovation project) it will not impact your health in any way.
However, this might mean that you will need to choose between not completing your project and investing to remediate the asbestos before you begin. Either way, our asbestos experts will advise you on the best course of action.
If you think your home or office is at risk for containing asbestos, contact us now and we’ll send a member of our team of experts as soon as possible to collect samples and restore your peace of mind.
What Is Asbestos?
The term asbestos describes a group of six naturally occurring silicate minerals:
These minerals are all composed of long, thin fibrous crystals, and each crystal fiber contains hundreds of microscopic fibrils that can be released into the air if abrasion occurs.
Asbestos has many desirable characteristics that led to its widespread use in construction, including the fact that it is;
- Highly resistant to heat
- Chemically inert
- Has high tensile strength
- Makes an excellent electrical insulator
- And can be woven into a fabric-like material.
In the United States, asbestos is still commonly used in products like
- Fireproof clothing
- Car brake pads
- Pipe insulation
- Roof shingles
- Vinyl floor tiles
- Gaskets, and so forth