FAQs

Q?

What is asbestos?

A.

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral fiber found in rocks. There are several kinds of asbestos fibers, all of which are exceptionally fire & chemically resistant. 

Q?

Where is asbestos used?

A.

Asbestos was widely used as an insulation and fire proofing solution. In particular, it found its way into products like ceiling tiles, pipe insulation, boilers, sprayed coatings and garage roof tiles. Asbestos was used in a product for one or more of the following reasons: to strengthen the product, for thermal insulation, and fire protection.

Q?

How can you tell if there is asbestos in a material?

A.

The manufacturer, product literature or product labeling may identify the asbestos content. People with experience working with or evaluating asbestos-containing materials may be able to identify an asbestos-containing material by visual inspection. However, the definitive way to determine the asbestos content of a material is to have a qualified inspector sample the material and have it analysed using microscopy in a laboratory qualified to perform asbestos analysis.

Q?

Is asbestos dangerous?

A.

Asbestos has been shown to cause cancer of the lung and lining of the lung (mesothelioma), as well as other non-cancerous lung diseases. Some asbestos materials can break into small fibers, which can get into the air and be breathed in. Once inhaled, fibers can become lodged in lung tissue for a long time. After many years asbestos-related diseases can develop.

Q?

Are all asbestos-containing materials a health risk?

A.

No. A health risk only exists when asbestos fibers are released from a product or material and are present in the air for people to breathe. Soft, easily crumbled materials have the greatest potential for fiber release and therefore the greatest potential to create health risks.

Q?

Do all people exposed to asbestos develop asbestos-related disease?

A.

No. Most people exposed to small amounts of asbestos do not develop any health-related problems. Health studies of asbestos workers show however, that the greater the exposure to asbestos, the greater the risk of developing asbestos-related disease.

Q?

How can exposure to asbestos be prevented?

A.

Asbestos exposure can be prevented by maintaining materials in intact and sealed condition. When asbestos must be disturbed, as in renovation and repair operations, a combination of engineering controls (containment and ventilation) and dust suppression methods (wetting and other work practices) can prevent exposure to building occupants and minimize exposure to abatement workers.