What You Need to Know About Asbestos

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This article is the last in our “Need to Know” series. Check out our other articles explaining the basics of environmental dangers and remediation here

Asbestos is a combination of six different silicate minerals, all of which consist of thin, long crystals that are fibrous and used in many different commercial and construction projects. Asbestos is also found naturally in areas such as California and has been used over the centuries for many different products.

For many centuries, asbestos was prized for its ability to resist damage from heat, flame, chemical, and electrical sources. It’s strong, versatile, and plentiful, which is why it was used in so many buildings until its health threats were discovered in the mid-1970s. Since then, asbestos is no longer used in building construction, but it is still present in thousands of commercial structures and even residences. In fact, there are still products made with asbestos that are legal today.


When the fibers of asbestos are broken down due to age or wear, they can enter the air and eventually the lungs. Over time, their presence in the lungs builds up and in many cases, causes mesothelioma, an invasive cancer that once started is difficult to treat. The cancer is highly aggressive and in many cases fatal unless treated in the very early stages.

Products Made with Asbestos

The products that include asbestos materials include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Vinyl and Asphalt Floor Tiles and Backing
  • Acoustical and Decorative Plaster
  • Caulking, Spackling and Adhesives
  • Electrical Cloth, Wiring and Panel Partitions
  • Chalkboards, Heating and Electrical Ducts
  • Cement Siding, Pipes and Tiles
  • Elevator Brake Shoes and Equipment Panels
  • Thermal Paper Products and More

The reason why these products still have asbestos in them is because the chances of the fibers breaking off and entering the lungs is very remote.

Asbestos Removal

Since the mid-1980s, there has been a concerted effort in the US to remove asbestos from older buildings. In many cases, the asbestos was used to wrap hot water pipes to prevent them from causing fires or used inside walls to prevent fire from spreading from one part of a building to another. Their removal is a time-consuming process which starts with inspection, followed by using the proper protection and equipment to remove the asbestos without causing it to fall apart and cause more particles to enter the air.

How Brickley Environmental Can Help

At Brickley Environmental, we offer complete asbestos removal services which identify, remove, and clean the area. Our trained technicians have the knowledge, experience, and equipment to remove the asbestos in a safe manner, making sure it presents no threat to anyone living or working inside the building.

If you suspect that your building has asbestos, give Brickley Environmental a call. Our courteous, professional staff will explain our services, answer your questions, and schedule a time to visit your building or facility so that an accurate estimate can be made for the services needed to fully remove the asbestos from your property.

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