Do I Really Have To Remove ALL My Asbestos?
No. And You Probably Couldn’t Anyway
We all know asbestos is ugly, toxic stuff.
(If you didn’t know that, welcome to our web log, First Time Reader!)
Asbestos was illegal for a very short period of time, about a half-century ago. And it’s still illegal to manufacture things with asbestos in the United States. But the laws were changed long ago (I smell lobbyists), and it’s perfectly legal to import asbestos-laden products to this very day.
So, since asbestos is cheap and easy to work with, overseas manufacturers crank out tons of products which contain this ugly poison every year, and they ship those tons our way.
(Maybe that’s the only reason to be grateful that shipping is slowed these days!)
As a result, there’s hardly a home built or a building remodeled which doesn’t contain some asbestos. Your flooring, wall boards, insulation, ceiling tiles, and even plumbing supplies might well have asbestos as a not-so-secret ingredient.
So when people ask us whether they should remove all the asbestos from their property, we have to tell them the good news, and the bad news.
The bad news is that you probably couldn’t rid your world of asbestos if you really tried. Not unless you decided to live in a cave. However, be advised: Asbestos is found in the soil in a lot of places, so even your cave might be lined with the ugly stuff.
But here’s the good news: Left in its solid, manufactured state, asbestos isn’t harmful. So you don’t need to try to get rid of all the asbestos in your home or business, even if you could.
That said, read on for the…
… Disturbing News About “Disturbed” Asbestos
Okay, so your insulation and drywall were made with asbestos, as was your teenage daughter’s faux jewelry.
(I’m not making that up. If your girl shops at Claire’s Boutique, for instance, she might well have some pretty bling which contains ugly asbestos.)
Anyway, you don’t have to try to get rid of all that stuff. (Though, for the sake of encouraging a sense of ladylike class, you might want to ask your daughter to get better jewelry, or even buy her some. I know a guy who can help with that. Call me.)
The point, if any, is that you don’t have an asbestos problem until the stuff gets disturbed.
See, asbestos is basically an ugly rock. And it’s very flaky stuff. By this, I mean that asbestos tends to flake off into microscopic shards when it’s broken up or disturbed.
And those little shards are deadly. They embed themselves in your lungs, and cause illnesses like mesothelioma that you can’t come back from.
So if asbestos-containing products on your property are damaged or disturbed, then you have a problem.
A house fire or basement flood – even a small one of either – can cause enough disturbance to make your house not unlike a cave lined with ugly poisonous asbestos and containing clouds of deadly shards you can’t see, hear, touch, taste, or smell.
And don’t get me started on that DIY basement remodeling project that left a horrible mess down there! Talk about a “disturbance” in The Force!
You don’t have to remove undisturbed asbestos, but if your home suffers a boo-boo, you really should get the place professionally tested. If there’s a problem with asbestos, the test will reveal it, and then you can call the experts at Asbestos Abatement, Inc. to get the problem solved, once and for all. When we finish, your home will be 100% asbestos-free, and it will cost less than you might think. Certainly less than treatments for mesothelioma, after which you die anyway. Disturbing! And just in time for Halloween.