A ceiling covered in ventilated white ceiling tiles is missing several tiles which are being tested for asbestos.

The threat of asbestos exposure is still a very real possibility for not just homeowners but businesses as well. As we have discussed before, asbestos is a substance that was very widespread in the previous century to create flame resistant building materials. Although the instances of fires drastically decreased due to utilizing asbestos in products such as siding, shingles, and flooring, the dangers came to light that asbestos was the leading cause of certain types of cancers. This led to a shift in the production of building materials and an active strategy to eliminate asbestos. The beauty of asbestos is its extreme effectiveness as an insulator and for flame resistance. When it became apparent that asbestos should be eliminated, alternatives needed to be found.

Asbestos Alternatives

Asbestos, although labor intensive to produce, was extraordinarily widespread and there was no reason to produce a synthetic form of asbestos. In the 1970s, industry kicked into high gear to try and create a material as effective as asbestos; like most commercial products developed in the mid to late 20th century are based entirely on synthetic plastics. One big contributor to asbestos in a home or business was pipe insulation, and the development of cellulose insulation has retained the effectiveness of asbestos with none of the risks. An interesting development is in the crack sealing portion of what once was ruled by asbestos. Caulking and crack sealing materials were once made of asbestos and it was a huge contributor to the issues that arose from asbestos. Foundations were sealed with asbestos, windows were caulked with it, even bathtubs and sinks were sealed with asbestos based materials. Surprisingly, crack sealant has been developed with natural products, and even includes flour from common sources like wheat and rice.

If you suspect that your home or business may have asbestos present, NOW Environmental Services is your local asbestos mold and lead testing center. Please give us a call for more information about our testing services.