(Still under construction)
Exposure to asbestos is the real risk factor.
Dust can be defined as “particulate matter in the solid phase but excluding living organisms”…so very small piece of non-living matter floating in the air. That “very small” dust, in the case of asbestos, is 50 microns – half the width of a human hair. So the dust that can be seen is not the problem – it’s the dust that you can’t see and are inhaling that is the problem.
The current standard of 0.1 fibers/cubic cm produces a risk of death at 3.4 per 1000.
It’s often said that there’s no problem if you don’t disturb asbestos. What is often not said is how asbestos is “disturbed”. If asbestos dust is present, anything that can make it take to the air, like a door slamming or a draft, makes it dangerous.
Exposure in Buildings with Asbestos-Containing Products
Buildings are not static objects – they move. Changes in temperature can cause expansion and contraction. If you’ve ever been in a newly built home, you can see that particularly well after the first winter – nails have popped out of the drywall, cracks appear and gaps form. This is normal – it’s the structure settling. While it’s most dramatic in the first year, this phenomenon will occur over the “lifespan” of the building. That shifting of the structure predictably creates dust. That means that if asbestos products are present, they might still be generating dust that you can breath in.
And if you have an older home, renovation work is a real danger. Mike Holmes has a message for you in regards to home renovations.
Asbestos is Contained in Break Pads
Did you know that break pads still contain asbestos? That’s a significant source of asbestos imports. It’s important to know that if you’re the person who’s changing the breaks on your car, you’re being exposed every time you do it.