Is asbestos safe to touch? Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral synonymous health concerns that has a surprising characteristic — it is safe to touch in its undisturbed state! Contrary to its infamous reputation for being hazardous, asbestos, when intact and not airborne, poses minimal risk upon light physical contact.
Touching asbestos safely stems from the way its fibers are contained within solid materials. While undisturbed, these fibers remain locked in, presenting no immediate danger. As a result, incidental contact or handling of intact asbestos-containing materials, such as touching walls, floors, or ceilings, does not release harmful levels of asbestos fibers. Unlike lead paint, these contacts do not require gloves to be considered safe, and even if you do get asbestos fibers on your skin, very few of these fibers, if any, pass through the skin into your body.
When does asbestos become dangerous?
The risk from asbestos arises when building materials become damaged, disturbed, or deteriorate, leading to the release of microscopic fibers into the air. Airborne asbestos fibers, when inhaled or ingested, can pose severe health risks over time, leading to lung diseases such as asbestosis, lung cancer, or mesothelioma. While intact asbestos is touch-safe, any activities that might disturb these materials — like drilling, sanding, sawing, or breaking them — can result in the release of harmful fibers and should be avoided.
Given its dual nature, proper handling and precautions are imperative. If encountering materials suspected of containing asbestos, it’s crucial to refrain from disturbing them and seek professional guidance from certified asbestos inspectors or abatement technicians. Specialists can ensure safe management and handling to prevent the airborne release of harmful fibers, mitigating potential health risks associated with asbestos exposure.
Safe to touch – but don’t breathe it in!
In conclusion, while the mere act of touching asbestos-containing materials in their intact state poses little risk, it’s crucial to handle them with care and be aware to not release any of the fibers. Being aware and well informed are essential in navigating the safe interaction with asbestos, preventing potential health hazards associated with its airborne form. If you have to be in proximity to asbestos that is being actively disturbed, please ensure you are wearing proper protective respiratory gear.
If you have concerns about about potential exposure to asbestos or that you may have some in your home that needs some testing; call us today! Don’t wait and risk your health.
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