This document from the Environmental Protection Agency will help you understand asbestos: what it is, its health effects, where it is in your home, and what to do about it.
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What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a generic name given to a fibrous variety of six naturally occurring minerals that have been used for decades in the development of thousands of commercial products. In the past, asbestos was added to a variety of products to strengthen them and to provide heat insulation and fire resistance. Asbestos has been used in many products, including insulation and fireproofing materials, automotive brakes and textile products, and cement and wallboard materials.
From studies of people who were exposed to asbestos in factories and shipyards, we know that breathing high levels of asbestos fibers can lead to several types of life-threatening diseases, including lung cancer. The asbestos fibers have a tendency to separate into microscopic-size particles that can remain in the air and are easily inhaled. Although the use of asbestos and asbestos products has dramatically decreased, they are still found in many residential and commercial settings and continue to pose a health risk to workers and others.
Testing and Removal
The Utah Department of Environmental Quality has an Asbestos Program and certifies asbestos professionals. SCHD does not provide testing for asbestos or conduct inspections for private homes/businesses. SCHD is available as an educational resource. For more information on asbestos or to obtain a listing of certified asbestos professionals, please visit the Utah DEQ Asbestos page by clicking here or call 800-458-0145.
Bob Swensen, Environmental Health Director, Summit County Health Department
650 Round Valley Drive, Park City, Utah 84060
Phone: 435-333-1584, Fax: 435-333-1580