(HealthDay News) -- Asbestos is a mineral fiber that is found in rock and salt. The fibers are strong and heat-resistant, so they have been used in construction materials for insulation and to prevent the spread of fire.
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But the fibers can be released into the air during demolition and building repair, increasing a person's risk of developing lung disease.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency offers these do's and don'ts for homeowners:
- Do leave undamaged asbestos alone.
- Do limit children's access to any materials that may contain asbestos.
- Do have removal or repair done by people trained in handling asbestos.
- Don't dust, sweep or vacuum debris that may contain asbestos.
- Don't saw, sand, scrape or drill holes in asbestos.
- Don't use abrasive materials to strip wax from asbestos flooring.
- Don't sand or remove asbestos flooring. When asbestos flooring needs replacing, install new floor over the old.
- Don't track material that could contain asbestos through the house. If you cannot avoid walking through the area, have it cleaned with a wet mop.
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