Asbestos is a known carcinogenic, and its use in manufacturing was banned by the early 1980s, but there are still old homes and sites where there is a presence of asbestos in ceiling, shingles, flooring and insulation. Asbestos if it is present in stable condition, is less harmful than when present in the unstable form. Asbestos in unstable form is toxic and lethal in some aspects, as those exposed to asbestos are likely to inhale the harmful fibres which will then settle in the chest of the person who inhaled resulting in the development of asbestosis, which is known to extremely difficult to treat.
Asbestos was frequently used in the construction of office spaces and households in the early 60s to late 70s but was soon discovered to be a carcinogen, post which the use of asbestos was banned. But the issue remained that a large number of houses were still built by using the adhesive properties of asbestos, hence it not only affected those who lived in asbestos fused household but also greatly affected entire neighbourhoods when a house or office space with asbestos was brought to the ground, as it was transferable through air and the asbestos would seep into the ground to cause the levels of toxicity to greatly rise in the areas surrounding the house.
Asbestos, as soon as it is identified needs to be handled only by trained professionals and should not be handled by untrained home owners who want to cut corners by disposing it off themselves, since improper handing can lead to a large number of people being infected by the lethal compound.
If by any chance you live in an asbestos infected household, then an asbestos kits needs to be made by using household products. Ensure that you wear mask that covers your nose and mouth fully. If at all you need to handle the asbestos before a professional contractor arrives, wet the affected area with water and remove the asbestos, once removed seal it in garbage bags and mark them. Wait for the professional contractor to come and handle the situation. As soon as asbestos is located, it is beneficial to move away from the infected area.
In Australia alone 34% of the households have trace amounts to large amounts of asbestos in them which in all honesty is a contamination waiting to happen. To prevent the toxin from entering the air stream and from contaminating the land and water-ways, it is recommended to contract a professional asbestos removal expert. There are a number of contractors who deal with both the removal and the demolition of households infected by the toxic substance. Check local listings for the more details.