Ask Angie: How to tell if your home contains asbestos

April 13, 2015 12:05 PM

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Dear Beth: The only reliable way to know if your home contains asbestos is to hire an environmental consulting firm or asbestos building inspector. They'll take fingernail-sized samples and test them in a laboratory.

You can't see or smell asbestos, but exposure to loose fibers can cause lung disease. The naturally occurring, flame-retardant mineral fibers are too small to identify without a microscope, so don't believe anyone who claims you have asbestos but hasn't done testing.

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