Asbestos HVAC Duct Work Danger
by Dan Derkum
HVAC duct work in many older attic spaces can be asbestos type. It is also very possible that this same asbestos type ducting is located in concealed wall, ceiling, and floor spaces of the home. This can be very dangerous to the occupants of the home as asbestos fibers can become airborne when the HVAC system is being used. Contractor is not permitted to alter or attach any new work to this type of duct work.
A substantial percentage of homes built in the 1960's and 1970's had asbestos ductwork installed during original construction.
Left undisturbed, asbestos-containing materials usually do not create any health risks. However as the product breaks down due to heat, aging, frequent contact, remodeling activities, and poor installation, tiny particles may be released into the air and ductwork itself and possibly inhaled into the lungs. Asbestos fibers are microscopically small. Those which seem to be visible to the human eye are actually threads of thousands of fibers.
Asbestos is commonly associated with the following diseases:
- Asbestosis: A noncancerous respiratory disease that results from progressive scarring of the lung tissue caused by lodging of asbestos.
- Mesothelioma: A rare cancer of the lining of the chest and abdomen that is almost always associated with previous asbestos exposure.
- Lung Cancer: Inhaled asbestos particles act as a carcinogen when lodged in lung tissue.
About the Author
Dan A. Derkum is the owner of DAD's Construction, a leading South Orange County, California design-and-build remodeling and renovation contractor.