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What Is Asbestos?

Asbestos in ceiling and floor tiles

Asbestos is the common name for six different naturally occurring hydrated silicate minerals. They are composed of long, thin fibrous crystals. Many can be mined and manufactured into an array of construction materials and commercial products.

Asbestos Properties and Durability

Asbestos is characterized by fibers or bundles of fine crystal fibers. This fibrous material is durable, incombustible, chemical resistant. It has excellent insulation and acoustic properties. Asbestos characteristics make it an excellent additive for many building materials used in schools, hospitals and other public buildings. These same characteristics, particularly the durability and small fibrous shape, also make asbestos an unusual environmental contaminant.

Asbestos Applications and Commercial Uses

Asbestos can be packed, woven or sprayed. These materials usually were applied by spraying but also have been troweled onto overhead surfaces, steel beams, ceilings, walls, furnaces, and pipes. In addition to a wide variety of commercial and industrial applications, asbestos was used in major building materials such as:

  • Spray-on fireproofing
  • Spray-on soft acoustic
  • Spray-on soft thermal
  • Pipe and boiler insulation

Which Buildings Contain Asbestos?

Widespread use of asbestos in the building industry began over a century ago. Nearly all homes, residential buildings and commercial buildings constructed from the late 19th century to 1980 contain asbestos in some form.

More About Asbestos

Central Virginia Asbestos Testing and Inspections

TJL Environmental Health Consultants, Inc. is a Central Virginia Asbestos Testing and Inspections company. We provide asbestos consulting services in Charlottesville, Lynchburg, Roanoke, Culpeper, Richmond, Harrisonburg VA and surrounding communities.

To learn more about our Asbestos Inspections and Asbestos Testing, contact us in Charlottesville at 434-962-8721.