Industry News

Nothing Smells Quite Like Asbestos

… Because You CAN’T Smell Asbestos

If you look (look?) around, you’ll notice there are a lot of things you can smell.

Smell around, and you’ll likely detect:

  • Evidence of your teenage kid’s bean-heavy diet
  • The hog rendering plant in your neighborhood, if there is one
  • Your infant nephew, whenever your sister’s family visits
  • The kitchen garbage
  • Because you should’ve taken it out about a week ago
  • The dog
  • Your husband’s coffee breath
  • Your wife’s chardonnay breath
  • Bus fumes
  • Car fumes
  • Snowplow fumes
  • Other random fumes in the neighborhood
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Cigar smoke
  • Pipe smoke
  • Other random smokes in the neighborhood
  • Not that there’s anything illegal about that in this state
  • The squirrel that died in your garden in September (once it gets warmer)
  • Anything else that might have died in your garden
  • The cat box
  • That cut-rate air freshener your spouse buys, and
  • Smog.

Now, none of these smells is particularly pleasant.  In fact, they’re all fairly stinky, maybe not to your nose, but to many noses.

Smelling many of these smells could result in barf.  Which you would also smell.  Sorry.

One important safety note here: If you smell toast, even when there is no toast, you might not barf, but it might be a “phantom smell” which could be a sign of a serious medical condition.  Seek professional help.

(The preceding important safety note is not actually a joke.  And now, back to the blog.)

Speaking of professional help, one thing you absolutely, positively, 100% for-sure can NOT smell is airborne asbestos.  If you think there might be asbestos in your air, you should seek out a professional tester (we can recommend a good one), and have them make sure your air is asbestos-free.

But you can’t smell it.

In fact, since airborne asbestos is microscopic, you can’t see it, taste it, feel it, or hear it, either.  It can lurk there in your air, undetected by the average person, and over time, could cause mesothelioma, an incurable form of cancer.

“So what?” you say.  “Asbestos is illegal, so I don’t have to worry about it.”

If this is your attitude, some professionals might suggest that you punch yourself in the face.

We would never suggest this, but we will kindly point out that while asbestos was illegal in the U.S. for a brief period many years ago, the government reversed course and now it’s legal to import asbestos-laden products.  And tons of such products arrive on our shores every year.

(I wonder if they could smell the lobbyists coming.)

In its solid, manufactured state, asbestos isn’t dangerous.  But it IS all around us, in everything from our wall boards and pipe insulation to our teenage daughter’s cheap powder makeup.  (By the way, confiscate and flush that stuff at your earliest convenience.)

But if it gets “disturbed,” asbestos is a real problem.  All it takes is a small house fire, a broken pipe in the basement, or a DIY project gone bad to release microscopic shards of asbestos into your air.  And once they get into the lungs of your home’s inhabitants, well, that’s something you definitely don’t want.

Don’t take a chance with airborne asbestos.  Get your place professionally tested, and if there’s a problem, we can usually solve it for less than you’d expect.  And nothing smells sweeter than fresh, asbestos-free air!  Though you can’t smell it.