5 Myths about Asbestos Busted

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral found throughout much of the world. Though it has some truly remarkable properties, including being resistant to extreme heat, its toxicity and capacity as a carcinogen makes it a dangerous and often lethal substance. Here at Thompson Valley Restoration, we hear much misinformation spouted about asbestos. Because such misrepresentation is potentially fatal, we want to clarify the truth. Here are five common myths about asbestos and the corresponding facts.

Myth 1: Asbestos is a singular substance
There are actually six different minerals that are categorized as asbestos: chrysoltile, tremolite, anthophyllite, amosite, crocidolite and actinolite. Of all of these, chrysolite with its curly fibres is the most commonly used. All types of asbestos present a health risk.

Myth 2: Asbestos has been banned in Canada
Many developed nations have made the prudent choice to ban the use of asbestos in construction and elsewhere. Unfortunately, Canada has not been so progressive in the matter. Though the frequency of use has certainly declined, buildings erected as late as the 1990’s oftentimes made use of a significant amount of asbestos laden materials. Currently, a number of asbestos containing products are still being used within our nation.

Myth 3: Masks can protect you from asbestos
Asbestos fibres that are airborne cannot be kept out of your lungs with simple paper masks. Safe asbestos removal, whether in Kamloops or elsewhere, requires the use of special respirators with HEPA filters. These respirators need to be fitted properly over the face and in addition, there needs to be regimented procedures in place to handle clothing. Dust laden articles can present a very high risk for persons who come into contact with the items. For these reasons, asbestos removal is not a DIY project and should be handled only by a reputable restoration company like Thompson Valley Restoration.

Myth 4: Asbestos should always be removed from homes and businesses
A lot of people mistakenly believe that all asbestos found within their edifices needs immediate removal. Not so. As long as the asbestos or asbestos containing products are in good condition and not deteriorating in any way, it’s actually safer to leave them undisturbed. However, if renovations or demolition will be occurring, then asbestos extraction is necessary.

Myth 5: In small amounts asbestos is harmless
Even a minimum amount of exposure to airborne asbestos fibres can be hazardous. The human body has no way of ridding itself of these contaminants. They can live inside the lungs for many years only to eventually cause cancer or other respiratory issues.

Safe asbestos removal
In Kamloops, and other surrounding areas, our restoration company—Thompson Valley Restoration—has the tools, the protocols, the training and the experience needed to safely rid your property of asbestos. Contact us today for a free estimate.

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