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What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a carcinogenic mineral. It consists of flexible fibers resistant to heat,
electricity and corrosion. These qualities make the mineral useful in many products. They also contribute to asbestos exposure toxicity.
Construction materials contained asbestos because it’s an effective insulator. Asbestos
in cloth, paper, cement, plastic and
other materials makes them stronger.


How to Identify Asbestos Containing Material
The only way to identify asbestos is through lab testing or professional inspection. Microscopic asbestos fibers have no smell or taste.

Asbestos materials fall into two risk categories:

● Friable Asbestos Materials
○ Friable asbestos materials are easy to break or crumble by hand. Examples include old

asbestos pipe insulation and talcum powder contaminated with asbestos. These materials can release toxic dust into the air upon breakage.

● Non Friable Asbestos Materials

○ Nonfriable asbestos materials are more durable. Examples include asbestos cement slabs and vinyl asbestos tiles. These products keep asbestos fibers trapped as long as the products remain undisturbed. Sawing, scraping or smashing the product may release fibers.

What is Lead Based Paint?

Lead-based paints were banned for residential use in 1978. Homes built in the U.S. before 1978 are likely to have some lead-based paint. When the paint
peels and cracks, it makes lead paint
chips and dust. Any surface covered with lead-based paint

where the paint may wear by rubbing
or friction is likely to cause lead dust including windows, doors, floors, porches, stairways, and cabinets.


Lead-based paint and lead-contaminated dust are some of the most widespread and hazardous sources of lead exposure for young children in the United States. Approximately 29 million housing units have lead-based paint hazards including deteriorated paint and lead-contaminated house dust. About 2.6 million of these are home to young children.


How to identify Lead Based Paint

Unfortunately, there’s no way to simply look at paint and know definitively whether or not it contains lead. Like with most household issues, you’ll have to dig a little deeper and actually get it tested to be sure.
That being said, there are some things you can look for that are common indicators of lead paint, and keeping an eye out for them can help you determine whether or not you should get it tested.
Chief among them is “alligatoring,” which happens when the paint starts to crack and wrinkle creating a pattern that resembles reptilian scales. This is a sign that your paint may contain lead. Another sign that you might be dealing with lead paint is if it produces a chalky residue when it rubs off. If you notice either of these characteristics in any paint in or around your home, you should have
it tested right away. Keep in mind that it may be harder to spot scaly or chalky paint if it has layers of new paint covering it, so it’s a good idea to look inside closets, around baseboards, behind appliances, and in other areas where people may not have bothered to paint over.

What is mold?

Mold is a fungal growth that forms and spreads on various kinds of damp or decaying organic matter. There are many different mold species that come in many different colors. Molds are sometimes referred to as mildew. They are found both indoors and outdoors in all climates, during all seasons of the year. Outdoors, molds survive by using plants and decaying organic matter such as fallen leaves as a source of nutrition. Indoors, molds need moisture and a carbon source from building materials or

building contents to grow.

Excess moisture is generally the cause of indoor mold growth. Molds reproduce by releasing tiny spores that float through the air until landing in other locations. When they settle on wet or moist surfaces, the spores can form new mold colonies. Moderate temperatures and available nutrient sources make most office buildings ideal for mold growth.

How to identify Mold

It is not recommended to routinely sample the air for mold with building air quality evaluations. This is because mold concentrations in the air cannot be interpreted in relation to health risks.
Instead, it has been found that thorough visual inspections and/or detection of problem areas via musty odors are more reliable.

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