Asbestos is six naturally occurring fibrous minerals that have the ability to resist heat, fire and electricity. These properties of asbestos supported its use all over the world for years in a number of different commercial, industrial and consumer products – including homes, especially those built prior to 1980.
Asbestos, once called a “magic mineral” is a natural mineral that has been mined and used because of its durability, heat and chemical resistance. Asbestos has been utilized in thousands of products, in everything from insulation and other construction materials to car brakes and hair dryers. At the height of its use, asbestos could be found in over 3,000 consumer products.
I had to snap a photo of this asbestos encapsulated furnace I saw in a 1945 Narragansett home that was for sale. It will need removal by licensed professionals.
My clients were buying a 1949 home in another town where asbestos had already been removed but there was still some friable asbestos on a couple of the steam pipes in the basement (like this photo). When I told the seller’s agent that my client wanted the remaining asbestos removed as a condition of the sale the seller refused saying he was insulted we even asked and that it was not needed. The estimate to remove that asbestos was $1,681.
There are 70 countries where the use of asbestos is NOT banned.
Mesothelioma & Asbestosis
Over time researchers realized that when asbestos materials are disturbed or damaged, asbestos fibers can be released into the air and cause dangerous exposure. When people accidentally inhale or ingest the microscopic fibers, the mineral can eventually lead to serious health problems, like mesothelioma and asbestosis.
For additional information: https://cpsc.gov/safety-education/safety-guides/home/asbestos-home