What is asbestos testing?
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral composed of thin, tightly packed fibers. Due to its strength, asbestos used to be commonly used in the manufacturing of insulation, fireproofing, and other construction materials. Unfortunately, asbestos has been found to pose a serious health risk when its fibers become loose and airborne, since breathing them in can cause scarring of the tissue lining the lungs (mesothelioma) and even lung cancer. Stage 4 mesothelioma symptoms are hard to detect. If you or a loved one has been recently diagnosed with stage 4 mesothelioma, are searching for options, we can help you with information.
The commercial form of asbestos testing can be extremely expensive. And, many asbestos testing kits are retailed, but the accuracy of their results is arguable. Therefore, you may want to try out some of these home-based asbestos testing methods yourself. A mesothelioma lawyer at Goldberg, Persky & White P.C. can be a valuable resource for anyone showing signs and symptoms of stage 4 mesothelioma.
Not Every Scary-Looking Material Is Asbestos
As one example, when you go into your attic and see gray, fluffy material, it turns out that this is quite harmless: cellulose insulation.
Knew that already? How about that material with the mica-like shine and gray-brown or silver-gold color? That wicked-looking material must be asbestos.
No, actually it is an ancestor to today’s fiberglass insulation, a loose-fill called Zonolite. The only sure way is to test.
Asbestos Testing Basics/process
Asbestos testing is generally recommended for every type of building. However, if you have a house that is older than a decade, testing for asbestos becomes critical. This is because earlier, asbestos was extensively used as a building material, as its harmful effects weren’t known. Even now, asbestos used for heat and electrical insulation is still widespread. Most homeowners decline to test for asbestos, feeling that the cost of true laboratory testing itself will be too high. If you or a loved has been diagnosed with stage 4 mesothelioma speak with a specialist at our organization.
While it is possible to spend hundreds on lab testing, there are cheaper ways to ensure that your home is safe.
If asbestos is present, hire a contractor to repair or remove the materials that contain it to ensure the safety of people using the building.
A contractor will typicall follow the below asbestos testing process.
Misting the Area
Spray the area repeatedly, ensuring that the mist is dispelled in every part of the room. The presence of moisture in the air ensures that the dust is no longer suspended and it begins to settle on the plastic sheet. Using the scissors, cut out a small section of the plastic sheet. This is your testing sample. Feel free to speak with one of our specialists about stage 4 mesothelioma treatment options.
Prepare for the area to be tested.
Since the act of testing for asbestos can disturb the material and potentially create a hazard, you should take a few precautions to ensure everyone’s safety before the certified contractor conducts the test. Prepare the building as follows:
Stop any air conditioning, fans, or ventilation systems that could circulate asbestos in the air.
Plan to close off the area; don’t let anyone in or out of the room being sampled during the collection.
If the testing is being done in a home, it might be prudent to have everyone leave the house at the time of the testing.
Beware of Some Home Testing Kits
Some home testing kits are unbelievably cheap. You might look at it and say, “Under ten dollars? Count me in!” But that is just the up-front cost. You still need to pay mailing costs and lab fees, which can run another $50 or more.
After sending your sample to a lab across the country, you may not even get your results back.
Hire a contractor to do the testing.
Contact an EPA-approved contractor who is trained and licensed in handling asbestos to analyze the suspected particles, as well as filing the necessary paperwork required by the EPA. If you were to collect the samples yourself, you’d still have to give the samples to an EPA-certified laboratory for analysis, and give them the protective gear you wore during the collection for proper disposal.
Identifying Potential Asbestos Contamination
There are many sources of asbestos contamination besides the usual suspects like tiled surfaces and aged crawlspaces. Some commonly neglected areas that have a high probability of asbestos contamination include rooms with extensive duct work, rooms containing radiator and heating systems, and areas with traditional wiring circuits. If you or a loved has stage 4 mesothelioma, speak with a stage 4 mesothelioma specialist at the asbestos cancer organization.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), which is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is another Federal agency that is concerned with asbestos exposure in the workplace. NIOSH conducts asbestos-related research, evaluates work sites for possible health hazards, and makes exposure control recommendations. In addition, NIOSH distributes publications on the health effects of asbestos exposure and can suggest additional sources of information.