Asbestos is the name given to a number of naturally occurring, fibrous silicate minerals mined for their useful properties such as thermal insulation, chemical and thermal stability, and high tensile strength. Asbestos is commonly used as an acoustic insulator, and in thermal insulation, fire proofing and other building materials.
Asbestos is made up of microscopic bundles of fibers that may become airborne when asbestos- containing materials are damaged or disturbed. When these fibers get into the air they may be inhaled into the lungs, where they can cause significant health problems.
While most uses of asbestos have been eliminated, some older homes may contain it, usually as insulation.
To test for Asbestos, a sample is taken to the lab and tested using Polarized Light Microscopy for identification.
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For more information on the health effects of Asbestos: