It’s tempting to think that asbestos is no longer a problem. After all, it’s pretty much been banned for over twenty years. The difficulty arises when one recalls that there are many homes which are over twenty years old and consequently may still have remnants of asbestos within their structure. Even some water lines may still contain asbestos products. These are typically covered by layers of other materials, rendering them safe. However, natural disasters such as tornadoes and hurricanes can cause structural damage and cause previously hidden material to become exposed.
What’s the big deal about asbestos anyway? Well, it’s been known to cause ill health effects since ancient times but it wasn’t until the 1950s that the first documented link between asbestos and cancers such as mesothelioma began emerging. Since then it’s been confirmed that asbestos can cause an entire host of cancers, including lung, gastrointestinal, kidney and esophageal. Asbestos is particularly virulent because, unlike a lot of other foreign substances, it can’t be absorbed by the body. Instead, it’s covered in a nodule of sorts and it’s this that can become cancerous.
If asbestos is so bad then why was it used in houses? Well it’s not all bad, or at least it isn’t bad until it breaks down into tiny pieces that can be ingested or inhaled. That’s what makes natural disasters so dangerous because that’s exactly what they do. Asbestos is very resilient and has a high tensile strength. That made it an ideal material for a number of household uses, including insulation and flooring. It’s a good idea to have a reliable company come in and check the home for any asbestos, so it can be removed before there is a problem.
However, if a natural disaster strikes and one isn’t sure whether there is asbestos in the house or not, don’t go in until a restoration company has had a chance to inspect the premises. This isn’t a problem with newer homes or even with older homes unless there is a lot of structural damage resulting in exposed insulation. Do not attempt to clean up on one’s own. It may be a bother to not be able to go in and check through one’s belongings but the possible alternative is much worse. If any asbestos is found then the cleaning up is likely to take a while so alternative accommodation will be needed.