It’s no secret that when building or buying a home for you and your family, the safety of those living there is priority number one. Given that there are hundreds of materials used in constructing your house, you’ll want to know if any of these materials contain any toxic substances.
One of the most common questions when considering stucco for your home is: “Does stucco contain asbestos?” In this blog post, we’ll take a look at one of the most harmful substances that people have unwittingly brought into their homes.
What is asbestos?
Asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral, was used in many building applications from the early 1900s through the 1980s. Particularly early on during this period, it was commonly added to plaster (stucco included) as an inexpensive way to increase the durability and fire-resistance of the mixture. Additionally, asbestos was used for electric insulation purposes. Asbestos is no longer added to building materials, so modern applications of stucco will not contain it.
Unfortunately, asbestos is incredibly toxic and can cause a handful of severe health conditions, including a fatal cancer called mesothelioma. Because repeated exposure to asbestos can be incredibly dangerous, it’s crucial to ensure that your home is asbestos-free. Although some people believe that stucco is the building material most likely to contain asbestos, many other mixtures used for construction contained this dangerous mineral as well.
Though plaster and stucco containing asbestos are not immediately toxic, when the material begins to break down, the plaster may release asbestos fibers, which you can then inhale into your lungs. One of the reasons asbestos is so dangerous is that it can often take up to 20-50 years before symptoms of mesothelioma begin to develop. You may not know you’ve been exposed until it’s too late.
How much do I need to worry about asbestos?
While you need to be aware of the dangers asbestos poses, it shouldn’t keep you up at night. Housing materials manufactured and imported into the United States no longer contain asbestos, and asbestos in existing housing materials is usually not harmful until the materials degrade or are otherwise disturbed.
Regardless, if you suspect materials in your house contain asbestos, it is imperative to consult with a specialist to ensure that you and your family are safe. Professional abatement teams can tell you the best way to neutralize this threat. If you want to know that your home is safe and nontoxic, we would be happy to schedule an onsite consultation to ensure your home is asbestos-free!