Asbestos, when used as insulation material and even particleboard manufacture was one of the ‘wonder materials’ that saw widespread use by the building industry in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. The fibrous, naturally occurring mineral was useful in part due to the facts that it was naturally fire resistant – and easily shaped for a variety of uses. However, in the 70’s it was discovered that asbestos was highly carcinogenic. Although it took until the year 2000 before the use of asbestos was banned in most countries – and legislation is still being fine-tuned – for example a European directive in 2009 regarding the safer handling of the asbestos issue did not come into effect until 2012.
The dangers of asbestos stem from the fact that the fine fibers are easy to breathe in and once they lodge in the lungs where they contribute to serious and often life-threatening medical conditions in the short and medium term. This has implications for those who are performing DIT alterations and maintenance of homes that were built in the 60’s and 70’s.
In fact, so popular was the use of asbestos and so easily was it shaped into a variety of products that it became one of the most widely used natural minerals in the world. It was found in fire resistant gloves, drainage piping and a variety of household goods where the fire and heat resistant nature of asbestos was valued.
When engaged in DIY projects that may involve dealing with asbestos it is a case of better safe than sorry. Although asbestos is not dangerous in its hardened form it tends to disintegrate very easily in the face of DIY activity – and this releases clouds of those very fine fibers that cause serious health issues. There is also another factor to consider. As asbestos ages it becomes increasingly friable and prone to disintegration – it may not even take the actions of the DIY enthusiast to turn asbestos deadly.
Those engaging in DIY projects need to be aware that the most common use for asbestos in residential buildings was in the design and manufacture of roofing sheets – and insulation materials. For those removing asbestos tips and DIY should be actively sought out.
When removing asbestos tips and DIY hints include the absolute necessity of wearing the correct protective gear. DIY enthusiasts need to purchase quality dust masks, goggles, gloves and also overalls – and these should be safely disposed of after the DIY project has been completed. If the project is taking place in an older building once again the motto to follow is ‘better safe than sorry’. There are a number of high-quality asbestos testing kits that are available. They can be sourced from several online suppliers and are usually highly effective at gauging the levels of asbestos at a site.
If the DIY hobbyist wishes to make even more certain that they will not be exposed to high levels of asbestos there are service providers who will visit the home to undertake a professional evaluation of the risks involved – and issue a report for the homeowners use.
If you are concerned that asbestos may be a problem when doing DIY work do not disturb any surfaces that may contain products manufactured from asbestos. Geta testing kit or call in the professionals. there are also umber of guides available online that have detailed advice on how to deal with asbestos in the home.
Removing asbestos tips and DIY projects are issues that will reward those who do their investigation prior to undertaking any project. It’s safety first when it comes to asbestos.