Up until the 1970’s asbestos was used in different areas of construction. It is a mineral fiber which was added to building materials to provide extra strength. It is also a good heat insulator and offers fire resistance. We can see why it was a popular product to use before any of the dangers were widely known.
What are the dangers associated with asbestos? Prolonged exposure to asbestos has resulted in some very serious health problems. Mesothelioma which is a form of lung cancer and a scarring of the lungs known as Asbestosis, are some of the illnesses caused by asbestos. This happens as a result of breathing in asbestos fibers which are very small. These fibers can stay in the lungs for a long time. If you are fixing up an old home that contains asbestos, its likely you will disturb it in some way either by sanding, scraping or even just the general handling of it, thus increasing your risk of exposure to its small fibers which can be released into the air and breathed in.
Asbestos is not something you should try to remove yourself and if you suspect that the home has it, you should consult with a professional who is qualified to remove it. If you are worried or uncertain whether asbestos was used in your old home, why not have it inspected? This way you can know for sure and plan the next steps to take.