Asbestos is currently a regulated material, because studies and scientific research have proved that it is a cause of several forms of cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestos poisoning. These illnesses do not show up right after the exposure to asbestos-they have a remarkably long latency period. However, constant and prolonged exposure to asbestos will cause its tiny fibers and particles to accumulate in the lungs. These asbestos fibers are particularly sharp-they can easily puncture and penetrate the sensitive lung tissues. The most serious illness that one can contract because of asbestos exposure is mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer that have claimed thousands of lives.

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It was only in the 1960’s that the fatal mesothelioma was linked to asbestos inhalation and ingestion. It took several years before a government agency imposed restrictions about the use of asbestos-and the mineral has been used in construction materials such as floor tiles. Only laboratory testing will prove the presence of asbestos, but these tiles that contain this mineral share specific characteristics. Trouble with asbestos? Call Adelaide. Here are a few ways to determine whether the tiles in your home contain hazardous asbestos fibers:

• If your tiles are colored black, gray, brown, or gray brown, there is a high chance that they contain asbestos. Asphalt and vinyl tiles that come in these colors are infused with asbestos fibers. Between these two kinds of tiles, the asphalt variety has the highest concentration of asbestos fibers, mainly because they used asphalt as the primary ingredient.

• It is important to determine the age of the flooring. You might want to be especially wary of this when you bought an older home. Because the presence of asbestos drives down the price of the home, the former owners might have removed all the insulation because this is one of the main usages of asbestos fibers. They might have overlooked the replacement of floor tiles. Asbestos was widely used in floor tiles, especially in the ones manufactured between 1920 and 1960. Older vinyl and asphalt flooring are made with asbestos-and these types of floor tiles usually come in nine-inch squares and are generally thicker than newer floor tiles.

• Aside from vinyl and asphalt tiles, sheet linoleum-especially those manufactured before the 1980’s-is also known to contain asbestos. Sheet linoleum is attached to the concrete floor by an adhesive, which also contains this hazardous material. If the house you are living in right now is constructed in the decades mentioned above and all the flooring is original, you and your family might be at risk of asbestos exposure.

• If you suspect that your tiles contain asbestos, do not try to remove it by yourself-even to extract a small sample to send to a testing laboratory. Contact a licensed asbestos removal company so they can inspect your tiles. Sawing, scraping, or cutting through the floor tiles might release asbestos fibers into the air if you do it by yourself. Professional asbestos removers have the technical knowledge and equipment to perform the job properly.