top of page

Breathe Easy. Call A&E Environmental and Speak to an Expert Today (978) 466-1333

asbestos facts
asbestos FAQ

Asbestos Facts

A&E has been identifying and removing asbestos and improving the air quality for three decades.


From asbestos testing to abatement , our team of certified, licensed experts can tackle any-sized asbestos job in your home or business. Our team has three decades of experience. We provide comprehensive asbestos testing, pre demolition and pre renovation surveys as well as asbestos removal services. Click below to schedule an asbestos test, survey's or get a free quote for removal. Scroll to read more about asbestos and the dangers of exposure.

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral fiber.

Where Can I Find Asbestos?

It was used in numerous building materials due to its tensile like strength, durability and flame and heat resistant properties before its dangerous health effects were discovered. Individual asbestos fibers cannot be seen by the naked eye, which puts people at risk if the asbestos containing material is disturbed.

what is asbestos

Where is asbestos commonly found?

Below are examples of buildings materials that are commonly found to contain asbestos:​

  • Ceiling Tiles

  • Linoleum Flooring 

  • Vinyl Flooring

  • Glues & Mastics

  • Popcorn Ceilings

  • Spray On Fireproofing

  • Window Glazing

  • Insulation - Attic 

  • Insulation - Walls & Ceilings

  • Insulation - on Heat Pipes

  • Walls 

  • Joint Compound

  • Cove Bases

  • Undercoating Sinks

  • Siding

  • Fireproof Boards

  • Around Flues

  • Stair Treads

  • Boilers

  • Shingles

  • Paper Backing -Flooring, Roofs, Siding etc.

common places to find asbestos

Do You Have Asbestos in Your Property?

How Can People Be Exposed to Asbestos?


Asbestos fibers may be released into the air by the disturbance of asbestos-containing material if they becomes damaged or deteriorate, or when demolition work is performed, or building or home maintenance, repair, and remodeling occur. In general, exposure may occur only when the asbestos-containing material is disturbed or damaged in some way and release dust,  particles or asbestos fibers into the ambient air.  


The most common way for asbestos fibers to enter the body is through breathing. In fact, asbestos containing material is not generally considered to be harmful unless it is releasing dust or fibers into the air where they can be inhaled, ingested, or absorbed. Please note asbestos fibers can remain in the ambient air for up to 96 hours.  Many of the fibers will become trapped in the mucous membranes of the nose and throat where they can then be removed, but some may pass deep into the lungs, or, if swallowed, into the digestive tract. Once they are trapped in the body, the fibers can cause health problems

Health Effects From Exposure to Asbestos


Because it is so hard to destroy asbestos fibers, the body cannot break them down or remove them once they are lodged in lung or body tissues. They remain in place where they can cause disease.

There are three primary diseases associated with asbestos exposure:

  • Asbestosis-is a serious, chronic, non-cancerous respiratory disease. Inhaled asbestos fibers aggravate lung tissues, which cause them to scar. Symptoms of asbestosis include shortness of breath and a dry crackling sound in the lungs while inhaling. In its advanced stages, the disease may cause cardiac failure.  There is no effective treatment for asbestosis; the disease is usually disabling or fatal. The risk of asbestosis is minimal for those who do not work with asbestos; the disease is rarely caused by neighborhood or family exposure. Those who renovate or demolish buildings that contain asbestos may be at significant risk, depending on the nature of the exposure and precautions taken.

  • Lung Cancer-causes the largest number of deaths related to asbestos exposure. The incidence of lung cancer in people who are directly involved in the mining, milling, manufacturing and use of asbestos and its products is much higher than in the general population. The most common symptoms of lung cancer are coughing and a change in breathing. Other symptoms include shortness of breath, persistent chest pains, hoarseness, and anemia. People who have been exposed to asbestos and are also exposed to some other carcinogen -- such as cigarette smoke -- have a significantly greater risk of developing lung cancer than people who have only been exposed to asbestos. One study found that asbestos workers who smoke are about 90 times more likely to develop lung cancer than people who neither smoke nor have been exposed to asbestos.

  • Mesothelioma-Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that most often occurs in the thin membrane lining of the lungs, chest, abdomen, and (rarely) heart. About 200 cases are diagnosed each year in the United States. Virtually all cases of mesothelioma are linked with asbestos exposure. Approximately 2 percent of all miners and textile workers who work with asbestos, and 10 percent of all workers who were involved in the manufacture of asbestos-containing gas masks, contract mesothelioma. People who work in asbestos mines, asbestos mills and factories, and shipyards that use asbestos, as well as people who manufacture and install asbestos insulation, have an increased risk of mesothelioma. So do people who live with asbestos workers, near asbestos mining areas, near asbestos product factories or near shipyards where use of asbestos has produced large quantities of airborne asbestos fibers.

Other Cancers

Evidence suggests that cancers in the esophagus, larynx, oral cavity, stomach, colon and kidney may be caused by ingesting asbestos. For more information on asbestos-related cancers.

Determining Factors​

Three things seem to determine your likelihood of developing one of these asbestos related diseases:

  1. The amount and duration of exposure - the more you are exposed to asbestos and the more fibers that enter your body, the more likely you are to develop asbestos related problems. While there is no "safe level" of asbestos exposure, people who are exposed more frequently over a long period of time are more at risk.

  2. Whether or not you smoke - if you smoke and you have been exposed to asbestos, you are far more likely to develop lung cancer than someone who does not smoke and who has not been exposed to asbestos. If you work with asbestos or have been exposed to it, the first thing you should do to reduce your chances of developing cancer is to stop smoking.

  3. Age - cases of mesothelioma have occurred in the children of asbestos workers whose only exposures were from the dust brought home on the clothing of family members who worked with asbestos. The younger people are when they inhale asbestos, the more likely they are to develop mesothelioma. This is why enormous efforts are being made to prevent school children from being exposed.

Don't take chances with asbestos.

If you suspect that your home or business may have asbestos, contact us or schedule a test with us today.

  • Is it true if I own my own home I can do the removal work in accordance to rules and regulations?
    Yes, this is true however be sure you know the rules and regulations. Also, keep in mind that on most projects after you buy the materials and equipment needed and perform the work yourself it would have saved you time and money just hiring us.
  • Can you get fined if you do the work improperly?
    That depends on the agency you are working with but yes it is true.
  • Someone drove by my house and stopped because I had a dumpster outside and asked me if I had tested for asbestos as I was putting construction debris in the dumpster. Can they do this?
    Yes, if you are removing construction materials and have not had them tested regardless of the age of the home or prior renovation you are required to have it tested before the removal of the building materials.
bottom of page