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  • Writer's pictureWilliam Powers

'Legacy' Asbestos and What It Could Mean For Your Next Home Renovation

What is 'legacy' asbestos?

With the news of a ban of asbestos, you may have heard about 'legacy' asbestos.

What is that?

Asbestos was used in many products prior to our becoming aware of the dangers of breathing in or ingesting tiny asbestos particles and the resulting serious health risks.

This eventually led the EPA to ban most asbestos use in 1989, but the courts overturned this ban. Nonetheless, most responsible building product manufacturers changed their ingredients in their products right away to remove whatever asbestos content was present.

Now the EPA has once again banned the products and we wait to see if Congress incorporates this into law. If that happens, the great news is that no further materials will have this particular type of asbestos present as an ingredient with the potential health risks.

However, materials containing asbestos have been used for decades and they are still present wherever they were installed. That is what the term 'legacy' refers to - those items that were used in the past that are still present, primarily in buildings, including our homes.

What home building products might have been typically made with asbestos as an ingredient?

Here is a short list:

  1. Plaster

  2. Drywall joint compound

  3. Vinyl floor tiles & mastic

  4. Pipe or duct insulation

  5. Acoustical ceiling tiles

Should I be concerned about 'legacy' asbestos presence in my home?

Not necessarily.  If you don’t disturb asbestos and if it is not deteriorating from other causes, it will not become airborne with the potential for breathing it in.  However, if you are planning on disturbing the materials described above, as well as others, because of the need to repair damage from moisture or mold presence, or simply with a home remodeling project, a simple test can determine if the materials that are being disturbed have asbestos presence in them.

Contact Powers Environmental LLC at 877-383-9814 to schedule an asbestos inspection or for further information.


Mold Fact No. 7

Some like to adjust the thermostat in their basements to a ‘low’ setting—meaning colder in the winter and hotter in the summer. Others simply turn off heat or cooling in these areas reasoning that they are not going down there generally. While this may result in some energy savings, it can result in a situation where the dew point is reached in the space with resulting surface mold issues developing on building surfaces, furniture, and other contents present there.

It would be better to maintain a more consistent temperature in this space, even if you don’t go there much, as that will avoid conditions favorable to mold growth and the damage to your home or contents.

Because this is a complex subject, it will be explored further in the next edition of Honest Mold Advice.

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