22 May 2020

Asbestos testing kits --Do I need one?

Photo by Tneil Abt on Unsplash
It is no secret about the potential danger that could be lurking in your home. Asbestos is, luckily, no longer used in construction. However, many people wrongly assume that when those regulations changed, they no longer had to worry about asbestos.

Unfortunately, there are many homes that still have asbestos. Knowing the dangers of asbestos, often leads to the question - do I need an asbestos testing kit? It might seem like an unnecessary item. But if your home was built more than 10 years ago, you might consider it a requirement.

What Is Asbestos?

Asbestos is actually a blanket term that covers 6 different substances that are naturally occurring. They are resistant to electricity and fire. Which is why it was so popular for such a long time. Asbestos was ideal where fire retardation was essential. As asbestos is a naturally occurring fibre, they are plentiful which was ideal for the construction trade.

Not only that, but they could be moulded and woven into a range of different items and materials. It is estimated that asbestos has been used for somewhere in the region of 4,500 years, and it wasn’t until 1960 and beyond the links between asbestos and a range of diseases and illnesses were accepted.

Why is Asbestos Dangerous?

Mesothelioma. Asbestos causes a rare and deadly cancer that develops in the mesothelium. The mesothelium is what protects your internal organs.

When breathing in the small airborne particles of asbestos, it will almost always result in cancer, and it is almost always deadly.

Asbestos has also been linked to a lung cancer disorder called asbestosis. This rare disorder attacks the respiratory system by forming scar tissue on the lungs and the surface of the lung’s lining, making it difficult to breathe. This may or may not be a precursor to mesothelioma. This is why an asbestos testing kit is essential for any home that isn’t a new build, that was erected in the last 15-20 years.

When You Need And Asbestos Testing Kit

Asbestos was used in many building materials for a long time. It was included in textures for ceilings and walls, and in insulation. When the regulations about asbestos being used in the building industry came into force, it was no longer used for new homes. However, that means there are thousands of homes that will have asbestos. In general, it will remain dormant until it is disturbed, but as soon as home renovations start taking place, exposure happens. Tiny airborne particles are released and can lead to a range of health issues. These include respiratory disorders and lung cancer.

So if your home is a certain age, then it is best for you to make sure you have an asbestos testing kit available. This will mean you can have the safest possible environment to complete your home renovations.
Where Can I Find Asbestos?
Within the construction industry, you will find asbestos-containing material in some of the following areas:

  • Insulation
  • Popcorn ceilings
  • Pipe insulation
  • Vinyl tiles
  • Ceiling tiles
  • Asbestos tiles
  • Some plastics

Many homeowners aren’t aware of the number of products in their homes that could potentially have some level of asbestos. Which is any asbestos testing kits are essential for most homeowners. Unfortunately, it isn’t until a homeowner decides to undertake some renovations when the asbestos is found. 

What Happens In An Asbestos Test?

An asbestos kit only has one use. To detect any level of asbestos within your home. Typically a kit will include a sample bag for each type of material that you would like tested. After you have carefully collected all of the materials and paid a fee, all of the materials will be tested within a lab.

Once you receive the results of your asbestos testing kit, if positive for asbestos, you will need to hire a company specializing in removing asbestos. They will be able to come and clear your home of all traces of asbestos. The cost associated with an asbestos testing kit is minuscule compared to the potential medical bills and deadly impact of leaving your home unchecked. There are occasions where a test might come back as inconclusive, and in this case, it is prudent to continue as if it was positive and use a professional service to take care of it.

A key thing to remember is that a professional company will ensure that your home is totally safe and use a filter to clean the air. You mustn’t attempt to remove any asbestos yourself when you get the results. In summary, if you have a house that is over 15-20 years old, it is wise to invest in an asbestos testing kit.






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