You already know that certain occupations can put you at risk for asbestos exposure. You may also know that if you work in one of these professions, there is a risk that you could expose your family to asbestos by carrying fibers home on your clothes. However, what if you do not work in an at-risk profession? Are you and your family completely safe from asbestos? Is there a risk that it could already be in your home?

Unfortunately, the answer is yes, there is a possibility. Before the pathogenic properties of asbestos became widely known, it was popular in home building materials because of its fire resistance. Therefore, depending on the age of your home, you could have asbestos.

How do you know if you have asbestos in your home?

According to the Consumer Protection Safety Commission, a qualified professional may be able to recognize asbestos materials in your home. This may require collecting a sample for examination under a microscope. It is important that only professionals collect samples of possible asbestos because they know how to do so safely without releasing fibers into the air.

What areas of the home may have asbestos?

If you have an older home, you may find asbestos materials anywhere the builders believed that there may have been a fire hazard. Examples include furnace ducts, vinyl floor tiles, insulation, roofing shingles and siding.

What should you do about asbestos in your home?

You should not attempt to remove the asbestos as a do-it-yourself project. Asbestos in your home should be safe as long as it remains undisturbed. However, amateur attempts to remove it could release fibers that could settle in the lungs of you or members of your family when breathed in. Contact a professional in cases of damage to the material requiring repair or if you intend to remodel or renovate your home.