Asbestos in Old Homes

Live in an old home? You may need to consider having your home checked for asbestosis. Asbestosis is a lung disease that is a result of the mineral asbestosis. In the 1930s-1950s in Libby, Montana there was an asbestos mine that was later closed when government officials realized that many health problems is a result of asbestosis. In these 2 decades, asbestosis was put in many things like: paint, installation, tiles, etc. It is a fireproof material which makes it very handy when building a house.

There are 6 types of asbestos; Chrysotile (white asbestos) is the most common type of asbestos. Chrysotile is usually in fine texture and it heat proof making it very helpful for items like cement, brake pads, roofing materials, etc. Amosite (brown asbestos) is one that has an even higher risk factor for cancer than all the other types of asbestos. It is mainly mined in Africa. It is commonly used in cement sheets, plumbing insulation, and electrical insulation. Crocidolite ( blue asbestos) is also one of the most harmful types. Because of its thin fibers and brittle nature crocidolite can easily break down and that can lead to asbestos exposure. The next three types are not as effective but are still very important, these are Tremolite, Actinolite, and anthophyllite. Tremplite can be found in paints, sealants, insulation products, and talc products. It can come in many different colors including green, grey and white. It is very useful because it can be spun into cloth, but is still very dangerous. Actinolite is very lightweight and generally dark in colors. It is unique because it comes in various forms including brittle, fibrous, dense, compact. It as also found in paints, sealants, and drywall. What is also different about actinolite is that it expands when heated which makes is an effective insulation material. Anthophyllite is generally grey or brown in color and is often found in composite flooring. Anthophyllite is non-commercial in the 1930’s-50’s it was regularly used products using vermiculite and talc. This is one of the least likely types of asbestos to get a disease from but it is still very clear that anthophyllite leads to disease.

If at this point you are concerned that you may have asbestos in your home or building you should have your house checked. You can not always tell if there is asbestos in your home so it very necessary to have it checked, especially if it was built in those years. It comes in many shapes forms and colors. The fibers are all very small.

The way asbestos works is that if products are containing asbestos are distributed very small asbestos fibers are put out, or released into the air. Later when the asbestos get breathed into a person they get trapped in a person’s lungs and end up staying there for a long time. Over long or short -depending on the person- the fibers accumulate and start causing inflammation. This can lead to many serious health problems like cancer.

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