What is Asbestos?

Asbestos in the HomeAsbestos is a carcinogen that can cause lung cancer, mesothelioma, asbestosis, and other serious respiratory ailments. Thousands of building materials were manufactured with asbestos before it was banned in 1970 and there are over 2000 commercial applications for asbestos, including: spray-on materials, debris and dust, pipe insulation, pipe joints, boiler and tank insulation, duct insulation, ceiling tiles or panels, floor tiles, and transite panels (heat protection). Over time, these materials degrade or are disturbed and their asbestos fibers are released.

Asbestos is typically sealed, wrapped, or bonded to prevent ambient suspension or transport.  However, friable asbestos that is disturbed or of poor physical integrity is prone to prolonged ambient suspension and migration.  Ambient migration includes such pathways as air conveyance systems and air currents within the occupied space, doorways, and structural breaches.  Asbestos may also be transported when particles attach to contents, garments, or individuals to those secondary sources move to other locations. Most asbestos-related diseases don’t arise until years after exposure.

Our team can perform dust, bulk, air, and soil sampling to provide the following:

  • A comprehensive site survey to identify asbestos-containing materials
  • A detailed report identifying the location, quantity, and condition of asbestos-containing materials
  • An asbestos prioritization plan in cases when removal of all asbestos-containing materials is not possible
  • An asbestos abatement plan for use by the third-party abatement company that you select

Asbestos Testing

Prior to testing for asbestos, IAQ Management Services ensures that proper containment measures are taken to protect the safety of its clients.

It is important to test for asbestos in these situations:

  • If you are buying, selling or renting a condominium, co-op or home built before 1980
  • Before you or your contractor do any renovations on property built before 1980
  • Before you or your contractor do any demolition work on property built before 1980


Alert IconA word of caution: Removing or disturbing areas containing asbestos improperly can increase a hazard.  Asbestos fibers can be spread throughout buildings if proper containment measures are not taken.