Goodness, What’s That Smell?
(Whatever It Is, It Ain’t Asbestos)
I have to confess that, while I do know an awful lot about an awful lot of things, I have no idea what awful smell you’re smelling.
Did the leftovers go bad, and a malodorous breeze come wafting out of the fridge the last time someone opened it?
Have you checked the trash can? The garbage disposal?
Did someone forget to spray air freshener, or flip on the fan, after they’d blown up the guest bathroom, perchance?
Maybe someone passed gas. Probably the dog.
(It’s usually the dog, right? And he does have kind-of a guilty look on his face.)
I have no idea what you’re smelling. But as a highly-trained and vastly experienced expert in the field (actually, in the office at the moment), I can tell you with one-hundred-percent certainty that it isn’t asbestos.
Asbestos Has No Smell…
That’s right, asbestos has no smell. By this I don’t mean that it has no “sense of smell,” as in possessing a tiny nose on its nasty microscopic face. I mean asbestos has no odor or scent.
You can’t smell asbestos. And neither can whoever opened the fridge, or stunk up the bathroom, or dumped sour milk into the sink.
Humans simply can’t smell asbestos. And I’m pretty sure dogs can’t, either.
Now, if asbestos did have a fragrance, it would be extremely stinky, no doubt. That’s because asbestos is quite an ugly substance.
If the asbestos in your ceiling, your floor tiles, your plumbing insulation, your drywall, or your teenage daughter’s cheap jewelry is left undisturbed, it’s neither malodorous nor dangerous.
But if it IS disturbed, by a small house fire, a plumbing problem, or a do-it-yourself project gone horribly wrong, well, then it’s very dangerous, because it breaks up into tiny microscopic shards which can impale themselves in your lungs and cause bad things you can’t come back from (like mesothelioma).
But you still can’t smell it.
And yes, I did say you might find asbestos in jewelry. Or – even worse – in baby powder or cheap makeup! Those are worse because the asbestos comes “pre-disturbed” when it’s mixed in with a powdered product!
… And It’s Too Bad…
… That you CAN’T smell asbestos!
As you might know (again, I have no idea what you know, NOR what you’re smelling), the reason you can smell a natural gas leak is that you CAN’T smell it, so they mix in that stinky sulphur smell so you’ll know if there’s a gas leak in, say, your guest bathroom which could cause it to blow up in a completely different way.
No such luck with asbestos. Disturbed shards of asbestos are microscopic, so you can’t see it coming… and you also can’t feel it, hear it, taste it, or smell it.
The only way to know if you have dangerous asbestos in the air at your property is to have the place professionally tested. This costs less then you might think – once again, I don’t know what you think, but probably – and so does the abatement of the asbestos the test might discover. The whole thing certainly costs less than treatments for mesothelioma lung cancer! After which, you die anyway. Cheers!