Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam
The roof of our Church is from asbestos
Asbestos, a mineral fiber found in rocks, is strong, flexible, fire- and chemical-resistant, with excellent thermal and electrical insulation qualities. Due to its many desirable characteristics, asbestos was widely used as thermal insulation (beginning in 1920), fire protection, acoustical insulation, decoration on exposed surfaces, and to strengthen household and building products. It also was utilized in friction products such as brake shoes.
Asbestos-containing materials can be found in the following household and building products:
Asbestos causes cancer of the lung and stomach, according to research of persons exposed to asbestos. There is not a level of exposure to asbestos fibers experts label "completely safe."
Some asbestos materials break into smaller fibers that float through the air and are inhaled. You would not be able to see these tiny fibers, and they are so small they pass through the filters of a normal vacuum cleaner and right back into the air. Once inhaled, asbestos fibers can become lodged in tissue.
A health risk exists only when asbestos fibers are released from the material or products. Soft, easily crumbled asbestos-containing materials have the greatest potential for asbestos release and, therefore, have the greatest potential to create a health risk.
Many times asbestos-containing materials are "safe" until they are damaged or disturbed in some way, as when home improvements are made or a home is remodeled.
On January 9, 1986 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published its proposal to ban and phase out all new asbestos use in the United States. Immediately banned were asbestos-containing construction materials and asbestos clothing. All remaining products and/or materials made with asbestos fibers are to be phased out over a period of 5 to 10 years. During this phase-out period, all products and/or materials containing asbestos must have warning labels.
Based on the model number and the age of the product, the manufacturer or a product may be able to tell you whether or not a particular product contains asbestos. Plumbers, heating contractors, and building contractors who have frequently worked with asbestos products and materials sometimes can make a reasonable judgment about whether or not a material contains asbestos.
In most cases asbestos-containing materials are best left alone. If the asbestos-containing product and/or material crumbles easily, is loose, flaking, or a powdery, chalk-like substance, removal may be necessary. Under no circumstances should asbestos fibers be dusted, swept, or vacuumed. These actions make fibers airborne where they can easily be inhaled. EPA strongly suggests finding a qualified contractor trained in safe removal procedures to do the job.
According to the EPA publication "Asbestos in the Home," the following precautions are listed for those handling or removing asbestos-containing products and/or materials:
If you are going to have work done by a contractor, discuss these guidelines and the other steps to minimize asbestos exposure.
National Safety Council. "The Hazards of Consumer Products Containing Asbestos," January/February 1987.
U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. "Asbestos in the Home," U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 1985.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Pesticides and Toxic Substances. "Guidelines for Controlling Asbestos-Containing Materials in Buildings," U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. June, 1985
Safe Buildings Alliance. "What You Should Know about Asbestos," Washington, D.C. 1984.
By Dr. Frances C. Graham, Extension Housing Specialist
Missippi State University. Extension Service
Asbestos causes cancer ( Click for more informaion)
Fuheis: June 3. 2001