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It’s silent, hard to see, and deadly—and it might be in your home right now. Asbestos is a building material that is used in home and building construction, until doctors learned that it was to blame for serious health problems.

The Environmental Protection Agency has passed plenty of legislation to stop its use, but it can still be found in older homes, schools, and buildings.

To learn more, keep reading to find the signs of asbestos that you need to know. Then, take action to have it professionally removed from the home.

Consider the Age of Your Home

Do you know when your home was built? Generally, the older the home, the more likely that it was originally built with asbestos–homes built before the 1980s are most at-risk.

However, asbestos is usually removed during a home renovation, so if you purchase a home that was recently remodeled, check with the previous owners to be sure there’s no more asbestos in the home.

Call a Professional

Here’s the really tricky thing about asbestos—you can’t tell if it’s there just by looking for it. Asbestos isn’t obvious, so you can’t find it yourself.

Even if you could, the health risks are enormous, so the last thing you want to do is start pulling apart insulation and releasing asbestos particles into the air.

Instead, hire a professional who’s completed asbestos awareness training and knows how to look for the problems safely. They can enter the home with the appropriate safety equipment and they know how to remove asbestos without putting the health of themselves or your family at risk.

Scientific testing is the only way to 100% confirm if asbestos is present.

Know the Areas of the Home Most at Risk

Even if you can’t see asbestos, it still helps to know the parts of the home where it was most commonly used. If these areas of your home are still original, and your home is old, they should be checked for asbestos.

Common areas where asbestos was used include roof shingles, attic insulation, linoleum, siding, floor tiles, and textured paint.

Be Aware of the Signs of Asbestos Exposure

It often takes quite a while to see health symptoms caused by asbestos, but you should always be aware of them.

Long-term exposure to asbestos can cause lung cancer and mesothelioma, so if you have any breathing problems, coughing, or other concerns, always talk to your doctor right away.

Protect Your Home from Asbestos

Asbestos is a serious concern and needs to be taken seriously. Now that you know more about the health risks and signs of asbestos, take action to have your home checked for asbestos if you’re concerned.

If you’re living in an older home, protecting yourself from asbestos is the most important thing you can do for your family.

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