If you’ve stumbled upon the term, chances are your indoor space has a high concentration of asbestos that may be leading to your deteriorating health. Thankfully, there are a number of remedies available that can help remove this hazardous compound from your home.
The Silent Killer – Asbestos
Asbestos is a family of minerals that form narrow crystals which can have damaging effects on health but sadly, asbestos is very common especially in construction from the 80s and 90s.
The naturally occurring family of minerals wasn’t known to be a health hazard and was actively used in construction thanks to its excellent properties of being fireproof. The minerals also bring a certain degree of soundproofing, making it an easy choice for the builders.
Asbestos use was legal for most part of the previous century and it wasn’t until 1989 that the use was formally banned by EPA. Although the banning was not absolute and faced many hurdles, the use has since seen a steady decrease.
Homes and buildings erected in the past few decades used asbestos in cement, cloth derivatives, floorboards, walls, and other building structures primarily to strengthen the construction.
Can HEPA Air Purifiers Help?
To better understand why we need to eliminate asbestos from the indoor space, we must first analyze what damage it is actually causing.
The Harmful Effects of Asbestos Exposure
Asbestos in itself is not dangerous. The material only becomes dangerous when it is distrubed or when the construction materials in your indoor space face degradation. Upon being disturbed, asbestos releases a ton of microscopic fibers into the air.
With such a small size of between 0.1 to 10 µm, asbestos particles aren’t visible with a naked eye and can be inhaled or ingested without the patient even realizing it. Long term exposure to asbestos can lead to a ton of serious health issues including lung cancer and obstructive pulmonary disease.
The main path taken by asbestos particles to enter the body are through the airways. Sadly, the symptoms don’t surface until later. Any degree of exposure isn’t safe; the International Labour Organization has set out standard operating procedures for working with the dangerous compound.
How Do Air Purifiers Help?
Air purifiers present a viable solution to the asbestos problems that countless households are facing these days. This article from airpurifiermag.com explains how the problem can be solved using HEPA air purifiers.
HEPA air purifiers use a High Efficiency Particulate Air filter (HEPA) that can trap particles as little as 0.3 microns. As asbestos particles fall well within this, they can be conveniently filtered out thanks to a HEPA filter.
Air purifiers use a mix of different filters that offer protection against countless airborne contaminants. These include asbestos, dust mites, microbes, and even harmful VOCs.
Are Air Purifiers a Lasting Solution?
No, while air purifiers can filter out the airborne Asbestos, it is ineffective at stopping the release of the particles into the indoor air. Even in the modern world of today, some states still allow the use of asbestos and while its use may have gone down, it is still very much a threat.
If you live in buildings that were constructed before the 90s, it is imperative that you use an air purifier and other remedies to keep asbestos at bay. Patients at risk of being in contact with asbestos should get in touch with a professional who will use industry leading kits for fool-proof detection.
If found, professionals with the right expertise must be contracted to take care of the problem. Don’t want to spend an astronomical amount on asbestos detection? You can source a asbestos detection kit and use it on your own.
Be sure to check wall/pipe imperfections before anything else, the source can be any exposed surface like a drywall joint or even cracked floorboards. In any case, the use of an air purifier can go a long way in ensuring no lasting damage is caused to your health.
Permanent Asbestos Control
Asbestos is fairly harmless if not disturbed. If your home is showing signs of wear and tear with cracks appearing in the walls or surface insulation materials, chances are your indoor space already has asbestos fibers.
The only ‘permanent’ solution is to get the surfaces repaired by builders/masons that have prior experience in repairing surface imperfections and also know about measures that help contain asbestos.
Asbestos particles break off easily when touched or even rustled by passing air. Carefully covering the asbestos lined surfaces is the only help one can seek. Surface repairs, paired with a HEPA air purifier will take care of problems like asbestos, mold, VOCs, and even those pesky odors that refuse to go away