Minimize Asbestos Exposure in Your House with HEPA Air Purifiers

By Stan G. in Asbestos

As most people already know, asbestos was widely used in various industries thanks to its impressive heat-resistance and mechanical properties. When the harmful effects of exposure surfaced following a series of lawsuits during the 1970s, EPA began fighting for asbestos use regulation and managed to achieve its goal. Although its use has been limited since then, asbestos can still be found in many houses and household appliances today, and if it becomes friable, exposure to the microscopic fibers of this mineral can cause serious health problems. Therefore, it is essential for people to learn how they can protect themselves.

HEPA Filters

The acronym HEPA refers to high-efficiency particulate absorber air purifiers. These filters, which are used for air cleaning, are able to capture various airborne particles, this way improving the quality of the air we breathe. Since asbestos dust has minuscule dimensions, HEPA filters prove to be very effective at preventing them from contaminating the air inside a room.

HEPA air purifiers are designed to filter a broad range of small particles, as well as smoke and dust mites. As a consequence, they are also used by pharmaceutical companies as a solution for toxic spills. Their efficiency rating is around 99.97% but, like all products, their effectiveness and quality depend on the manufacturer and the extent to which they are correctly employed.

How They Work

HEPA filters usually consist of a fiberglass mat which traps the particles flowing around it, at the same time allowing cleaned air to pass through. They are specially designed to absorb tiny, microscopic particles such as asbestos fibers, ultimately purifying the air. This is actually their main use in buildings, especially in old houses which had been built before asbestos regulations became effective. However, using a HEPA filter one time will not ensure an asbestos-free environment. Several uses are required in order to remove all the asbestos particles which might have been missed the first time. A regular use of HEPA air purifiers is recommended for optimal air quality.

Another important thing to keep in mind regarding HEPA filters is that one filter is meant to clean just one space at a time. Placing the air purifier in a room and leaving the door open does not mean the filter will also clean the air in the adjacent space. It can only clean the air in the room it is located at that moment.

If you suspect the presence of asbestos in your home, do not put yourself at risk. The best course of action is to contact a certified abatement company and have professionals inspect your house. Depending on the situation, they will advise you to leave the asbestos-containing materials undisturbed or, on the contrary, to have them removed.

When there are undamaged asbestos-containing products in your house, you are most likely safe. In such cases, HEPA air purifiers are a perfect solution to get rid of the low amount of fibers which might be released in your home. Choosing a proper HEPA filter can prove to be a tough job, but you can ask the people inspecting your house for recommendations.

Why Should I Test Products in My Home for Asbestos?

It is often impossible to tell whether asbestos is embedded in a material, as the fibers are too small to be observed with the naked eye. Exposure to asbestos is responsible for serious respiratory conditions, so thorough testing is required to ensure your home is asbestos-free.