Asbestos is the generic name for a host of fibrous minerals found naturally in rock formations around the world. Because asbestos fibers are tough, durable and flame retardant, they have been used extensively in the industry, mainly in construction and friction materials. Commercial asbestos fibers belong to two major mineralogical groups: serpentine (chrysotile) and amphibole (tremolite, actinolite and others).
In buildings and residences
Because asbestos is a useful reinforcement, insulation and fireproofing material, it has been used extensively in building materials such as insulation boards, asbestos cement and ceiling and floor tiles. ground. These products have a high density and do not release significant amounts of fibers under normal use conditions. However, fibers can be released if these products are cut or damaged.
The concentrations of asbestos fibers in building air are usually about the same as in outdoor air and pose no significant risk. On the other hand, concentrations can be higher if moving or breaking brittle asbestos materials.
Concerns have also been raised about vermiculite insulation and other products that may contain small amounts of tremolite asbestos. Tremolite asbestos is a type of amphibole asbestos that can pose health risks if it is stirred. However, there is currently no demonstrated risk to health if the insulation is sealed in wallboard or floor, insulated in an attic or simply absent from the ambient air.
If there is any material that may contain asbestos in your home, it is recommended that you perform an air test to determine if it is contaminated.