Asbestos is a mineral composed of six naturally occurring mineral that is made of up of soft and flexible fibers. It is resistant to heat, fire, and several various chemicals. Asbestos used to be found in a variety of products from building materials all the way to protective gear. However, research dated back several decades have documented that asbestos has the ability to cause mesothelioma and other lung-related cancers and illnesses if the fibers are released into the air and inhaled into the lungs. Therefore, testing for asbestos should always be left to professionals whenever possible. If there are any remodeling projects being done in an area that was built using products prior to 1980, a professional should be contacted prior to demolition. Proper testing should be conducted before the area is broken into and the small deadly fibers get thrown into the air.
Testing typically requires a professional to come out to the area and the professional is required to collect a sample. There are a few states that actually do allow individuals to self-collect a sample if the home or building is detached from other housing. There are small kits that can be purchased with detailed instructions on how to collect a testable sample. Proper precautions should still be taken during the collection process as it is a very serious substance and can still cause cancer if inhaled. Since asbestos is not visible to the eye, a sample must be collected and set to a lab for the actual testing to occur. Because of the severity of asbestos, the Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, require testing by conducted at one of their certified laboratories.
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