Asbestos in the Home

James F. Humphreys & Associates, L.C. has extensive experience representing people who have been injured by exposure to asbestos. Many of our clients have been exposed to asbestos at work, but people can be exposed to asbestos outside the workplace as well, even at home.  

Asbestos was widely used in house construction between the early 1940s and the 1970s, so if your home was built before 1980, it may contain asbestos. Fortunately, asbestos is usually not dangerous unless it is damaged or disturbed. If you are thinking about renovating or remodeling an older home, however, you may want to make sure that you and your loved ones are not exposed to asbestos when asbestos containing materials are removed, replaced or repaired.

A variety of materials used in residential construction contained asbestos. Here are some of them:

Roofing shingles

Siding

Textured paints  

Patching & joint compounds

Vinyl floor tiles

Insulation on steam and hot water pipes

Insulation and door gaskets on oil and coal furnaces

Soundproofing & decorative material sprayed on walls & ceilings

Door gaskets on wood and coal burning stoves

Vermiculite based attic insulation

Sawing, sanding, drilling and scraping such products may release asbestos fibers into the air. Loose, crumbling or water-damaged materials may also release fibers.

The only way to make sure that material does not contain asbestos is to have it tested by a qualified professional.

Usually, the best thing to do if you have asbestos in your home is to leave it alone. If the asbestos containing material is in bad shape, or you plan to repair or replace it, you should have a qualified professional do the work.

For more information, you may want to look at the following sources:

Protect Your Family/Asbestos/US EPA, https://www.epa.gov./asbestos/protect-your-family

United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, Asbestos in the Home, https://www.cpsc.gov/safety-education/safety-guides/home/asbestos-home

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