Why Do You Need to be Concerned About Asbestos?
Asbestos is a mineral fiber that has been used commonly in a variety of building construction materials for insulation and as a fire-retardant. Because of its fiber strength and heat resistant properties, asbestos has been used for a wide range of manufactured goods, mostly in building materials (roofing shingles, ceiling and floor tiles, paper products, and asbestos cement products), friction products (automobile clutch, brake, and transmission parts), heat-resistant fabrics, packaging, gaskets, and coatings.
When asbestos-containing materials are damaged or disturbed by repair, remodeling or demolition activities, microscopic fibers become airborne and can be inhaled into the lungs, where they can cause significant health problems.
Most Common Sources of Asbestos Exposure:
- Workplace exposure to people that work in industries that mine, make or use asbestos products and those living
near these industries, including:
- the construction industry (particularly building demolition and renovation activities),
- the manufacture of asbestos products (such as textiles, friction products, insulation, and other building materials), and
- during automotive brake and clutch repair work
- Deteriorating, damaged, or disturbed asbestos-containing products such as insulation, fireproofing, acoustical materials, and floor tiles.
On this Web site:
- Basic Information
- What is asbestos?
- Asbestos health effects
- Where can asbestos be found?
- What if I have asbestos in my home?
- Where can I find an accredited laboratory to test for asbestos?
- EPA's role in asbestos
- Other federal asbestos efforts
Where You Live -- Get contacts for asbestos information in each EPA regional office and in the states.
Vermiculite -- Learn about asbestos-contaminated vermiculite products and asbestos contamination in Libby, Montana.
Naturally Occurring Asbestos -- Learn about reducing exposure to asbestos that is present in naturally-occurring rock formations in certain areas of the U.S., including California.
Asbestos in Your Home -- Read about what to do if you find asbestos in your home.
Asbestos in Products & Buildings -- Read EPA's publications on asbestos in products and buildings.
Asbestos Laws & Regulations -- Find links to the laws, EPA's regulations and policy guidance relating to asbestos.
For Asbestos Abatement Professionals -- Find out how you can take training to become an asbestos abatement professional and learn about state asbestos accreditation programs.