(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.
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.