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​If you are thinking about investing in an old home to renovate, its very important to do your research regarding what type of building materials were used years ago, as well as any hazards that are associated with them, so that you can prepare yourself for what you may encounter.  Asbestos is one such material that was used in construction up until the 1970’s. While you may know that it is a health hazard, you may not know why or what materials it is found in. 
 
Asbestos is a mineral fiber.  It was added to construction materials because of its ability to insulate and to provide fire resistance and also to give added strength.  Its clear to see why people thought it was a good idea to use, before too much was known of the dangers.  So, what are the dangers connected to asbestos?
 
The mineral fibers found in asbestos are extremely small and, when inhaled, tend to stay in the lungs for a long time.  Many of those that have been exposed to asbestos for prolonged periods of time have suffered from some very serious health problems such as Asbestosis which is a scarring of the lungs and a form of lung cancer known as Mesothelioma. 
 
How might a person become exposed to asbestos when fixing up an older home?  If asbestos is found in an old home the general handling of it, scraping and sanding or disturbing it in some other way can cause the small fibers to be released into the air, increasing your chance of breathing them in and having them stay in your lungs.  As we can see from our discussion, this is not something you want to be exposed to so what should you do if you are worried asbestos is in the home?  Have asbestos testing performed before you start to do any work on it.  This way if asbestos is found, you can make sure you hire someone who is qualified to safely remove it and dispose of it for you.