“The Best Home Inspections”
Asbestos and Lead Information.
Excerpts from The Asbestos Institute
Scientific and medical research has revealed that excessive exposure to inhaled asbestos dust can be dangerous to health. It should be noted, however, that the risks are generally related to exposure during handling of asbestos fibre in work environments.
Excerpts from American Lung Association
Consumer Product Safety Commission – United States Environmental Protection Agency – 1990
Even if asbestos is in your home, this is usually NOT a serious problem. The mere presence of asbestos in a home or a building is not hazardous.
The best thing to do with asbestos material in good condition is to leave it alone!
Disturbing it may create a health hazard where none existed before.
If the asbestos material is in good shape and will not be disturbed, do nothing! If it is a problem, there are two types of corrections: repair and removal.
REPAIR usually involves either sealing or covering asbestos material. Sealing (encapsulation) involves treating the material with a sealant that either binds the asbestos fibres together or coats the material so fibres are not released.
Lead Based Paint
Excerpts from Title X
Is my home unsafe if it contains lead-based paint?
Approximately three-quarters of the Nations Housing built before 1978 contains some lead-based paint. This paint, if properly managed and maintained, poses little risk.
If allowed to deteriorate, lead from paint can threaten the health of occupants, especially children under 6 years old. If families and building owners are aware of the presence of lead-based paint and the proper actions to take, most lead-based paint hazards can be managed. The EPA pamphlet Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home provides important information for families and home owners to help them identify when lead-based paint is likely to be a hazard and how to get their home checked.
Must I check my house for lead prior to sale?
No. The rule does not require that a seller conduct or finance an inspection or risk assessment. The seller, however, is required to provide the buyer a 10-day period to test for lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards. The inspection or risk assessment period can be lengthened, shortened, or waived by mutual written consent between the purchaser and the seller.
Is the seller required to remove any lead-based paint that is discovered during an inspection?
No. Nothing in the rule requires a building owner to remove lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards discovered during an inspection or risk assessment.
The Main Concern with Lead based paint is during painting or remodeling
Whenever lead based paint may be significantly disturbed, the contractor is required to give the client an EPA pamphlet “Protect Your Family From Lead in Your Home”. In addition there are procedures that the contractor must follow to reduce or eliminate the lead hazard during painting or other construction. This typically involves such things as: Wet sanding, collection, clean up and safe disposal of any lead containing material, such as paint dust. Separating the work area from surrounding inhabited areas, often done by sealing off the doorways and windows. Air taken into the work area is then controlled and exhaust air is appropriately filtered to remove the lead dust. This is usually done by using large fans and filters made for this purpose.
More information from the EPA about Lead in the Home
I definitely do not mean to disregard safety, as a contractor safety is a very imprortant isue, a lot of what we do and the tools and materials we work with can be dangerous and even deadly, but it is also very easy to get overexcited about safety too. I have never seen a case of a person having problems because of Asbestos in the home, the only reported problems I am aware of involve constant long term exposure in the workplace, as reported by the Asbestos Institute above. Virtually every house built in the 1960s or before will have asbestos containing materials somewhere, therefore testing is nearly a complete waste of time. Paint does a relatively good job of sealing both of these materials into a reasonably non-hazardous form. If asbestos ducting or other products are found and are found to be damaged or unused, have them properly removed.