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Nov 15

Asbestos is a dangerous chemical that has been used to build houses and other buildings. Asbestos can be found in nature but is most common in old homes built before the 1970s. It was used in walls, ceilings, and floors because it is fire-resistant and a good insulator. Asbestos looks like thin, white fibers.

Most of the time, asbestos in your home is safe. Asbestos is unsafe when it is damaged, and it can be bad for your health. Exposure to asbestos can cause:

  • mesothelioma (a type of lung cancer)
  • lung cancer
  • asbestosis
  • pleural disease

Call your doctor if you are concerned that you have been exposed to asbestos. Early symptoms of asbestos exposure include a cough or shortness of breath that worsens over time.

If you think you have asbestos in your home, hire a professional asbestos removal company to remove it. Do not remove asbestos yourself. 

Get your home inspected for asbestos hazards if you are concerned or if you plan to do home repair work yourself. Click here for a full list of licensed asbestos consultants and contractors.

For more information, call BPHC's Environmental & Occupational Health Division at 617-534-5965.


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Boston Public Health Commission
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