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Identifying Asbestos and Mesothelioma

  1. Feb 12, 2010 #1

    DaveC426913

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    So, I uncovered this in my basement ceiling.

    The material is very much like cardboard, but it's got corrugation. There is no fibrosity to the material (as per fibreglass); the material can be pulled into very small pieces, just like cardboard.

    I've taken a sample to a lab for testing.

    What I don't know is what to do about it if it is asbestos. I keep reading that asbestos is not harmful unless disturbed, or unless fryable.

    Should I get it removed? What will it cost?

    If I do get it removed, it should be quite easy. The entire section is exposed and very easy to get at.

    What I do not know is if there is any such thing as an "easy" removal. I watched Holmes on Homes and they basically hermetically sealed the house.

    Opinions?
     

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  3. Feb 12, 2010 #2
    Re: Identifying Asbestos

    Containment is the first rule of asbestos.Removal is a last resort. And it can cost thousands of dollars, for even a very small job.

    I believe in most states the homeowner can remove it them selfs. You plastic off the area really well{seal duct work, vents and windows}, and spray it with water, this keeps the fibers from drifting in the air. Wear the best quality personal protection, do not go into any other area of the home. Remove as large of chunks as possible and bag it.

    In my last home, I contained some and removed another area that I thought was too easy for children to get at.
     
  4. Feb 12, 2010 #3

    Born2bwire

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    Re: Identifying Asbestos

    Usually you can tell pretty well by its scent. However, final determination using this method usually arises many years after the fact.
     
  5. Feb 12, 2010 #4

    Danger

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    Re: Identifying Asbestos

    The guys who cleaned up my house for me were supposed to pull the carpet from the bathroom, and immediately found asbestos under it. They chose to leave it there rather than call in a haz-mat crew. It should be okay if left undisturbed.
     
  6. Feb 12, 2010 #5

    brewnog

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    Re: Identifying Asbestos

    It certainly looks as though it could be asbestos.

    You did the right thing to get a sample analysed. If you're worried about it, or are likely to need to disturb it, (and the sample comes back positive, obviously) call the professionals in. Where is it? How much is there? What condition is it all in? Are you doing building work anyway?
     
  7. Feb 12, 2010 #6

    DaveC426913

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    Re: Identifying Asbestos

    This is where I'm having difficulty. If it's bad it's bad. Leaving it just doesn't seem to be wise at any cost, yet everyone says it should be OK if left.

    I suppose the only rationale I can see for leaving it is if the danger from trying to remove it is higher than the danger for leaving it.


    I am very lucky. It is extremely accessible. Pulled one panel down and it's exposed along its entire 8ft length. There is no more anywhere else. It is in excellent condition, just the rough edge where it was cut.

    Despite the apparent danger, I am beginning to suspect that merely wrapping it in an airtight cocoon of poly will be sufficient.
     
  8. Feb 12, 2010 #7
    Re: Identifying Asbestos

    Well if you get mesothelioma, you will know it is asbestos:tongue:

    As long as you dont breathe it in, you are fine. Asbestos removal is very expensive, and isn't that hard to do yourself! Someone already gave instructions, so go for it!
     
  9. Feb 12, 2010 #8

    DaveC426913

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    Re: Identifying Asbestos

    Yeah... there are as many Google hits for poorly-done DIY jobs as there are properly-done jobs.
     
  10. Feb 12, 2010 #9
    Re: Identifying Asbestos

    I'd spray it with some thinned down boiled linseed oil, then oil based paint, whether you leave it up or when you try to remove it
     
  11. Feb 12, 2010 #10

    DaveC426913

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    Re: Identifying Asbestos

    Well, I took your advice, tore some off a gave it a sniff. What should I be smelling? You say it takes a long time using this method so I've put the sample on my desk next to me where I will be able to get a cumulative effect. How long should I wait?
     
  12. Feb 12, 2010 #11

    DaveC426913

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    Re: Identifying Asbestos

    Confirmed. Lab results came back this morning. Asbestos - 60% Chrysotile tech tech tech.

    I have decided that, considering it is in excellent condition, the risk from removal is greater than the risk to leave it.

    Due to its highly localized uh location, and its extremely accessible uh accessibility, I have decided to take care of it myself.

    Wearing a filtered dust mask I was able to slip a sheet of poly over top of the pipes and seal it along the bottom and ends. Then I sealed up the entire cubby between the joists.

    Now I'm going to write a note the the future homeowner.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2010
  13. Feb 12, 2010 #12
    Re: Identifying Asbestos

    It looks like steam heat pipe insulation. (usually asbestos) Did/does your home have steam heat?

    If you remove it yourself;
    1. Use a respirator, not a mask.
    2. Get a tyvek suit and disposable gloves and shoe covers.
    3. Seal off the work area.
    4. Use a pressurized sprayer and soak it good.
    5. Put the waste in 4 mil trash bags.
    6. Paint the pipes to contain and encapsulate any remaining asbestos.
    7. Dispose of the waste, including suit, gloves, and respirator filters.

    When I did my abatement I put it an old cistern in the basement and then sealed the cistern with concrete. If the pipes are for steam heat that is still in use, after you paint the pipes you should install new insulation. Flexible foam tubing is usually the easiest to install.

    [edit] I guess I should have read the whole thread before responding. Sounds like you have already taken care of it.
     
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