Almost everyone knows that asbestos is dangerous, but what are the actual risks?
Asbestos is made up of very fine fibers that when inhaled can cause cancer. The problem is that it can be hard to tell from a visual inspection whether or not a material contains asbestos. Many homes built prior to 1970 are likely to have asbestos in them, since it was considered a useful material before the health risks were realized. Asbestos was added to other materials to make them stronger and fire resistant.
If you suspect that there is asbestos in a material, you should treat it as such. If you were to be exposed to asbestos, you wouldn’t feel anything right away, but years later, the health problems will show up.
You should never try to remove anything that might contain asbestos by yourself. If left undisturbed, it is harmless, but if you were to break loose pieces of material, then the fibers would be released into the air and cause harm.