Fact or Fiction: Asbestos Quiz

Staff

It's safe to check for asbestos using a specialized home testing kit.

Chipping away at even the smallest area suspected of having asbestos can release dangerous particles into the air and lungs. Professionals are trained to test safely and with measures to contain those risks.

Signs of health complications from asbestos always show up shortly after exposure.

It can take as many as 10 to 40 years or more for health problems from asbestos to develop.

You don't have to check any products for asbestos if they were made after 1979.

Although banning asbestos started in the United States in the late 1970s, it is still available and used, within regulations.

Asbestos was once used as a material to improve steering in cars and trucks.

Asbestos wasn't used to improve steering, but it was used in brakes and clutch parts in cars, many of which are still on the road today.

Blow drying your hair was once dangerous for your health.

In 1979 the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a warning about the "significant" health risks of using hair dryers made with asbestos components. Manufacturers of handheld hair dryers agreed to stop using asbestos and to retrofit or replace those already sold, but many consumers already had been exposed to the asbestos.

Products with asbestos can still be legally imported into the United States from other countries.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), it is still legal to "manufacture, import, process and distribute most asbestos-containing products" in the United States.

Vermiculite is a good replacement material for asbestos.

The mineral vermiculite has a lot of the great insulating and heat resistant properties of asbestos, and was thought to be safe until it was discovered to have particles of asbestos running through it when mined from certain areas. Vermiculate insulation manufactured up until 1990, and possibly later, likely has asbestos.

It's an urban legend that toys in some countries are made with asbestos products.

Toys manufactured in countries without regulations on asbestos use can contain asbestos. However, many countries require disclosures about its use.

You can live safely with asbestos in your home.

If you leave it intact or undisturbed, or have it professional covered with sealants, you will be safe living with asbestos.

Groovy popcorn ceilings might cover asbestos, or could actually contain asbestos.

Sprays and plasters containing asbestos were used at one time to create textured looks on the wall. Later, non-asbestos treatments created the same popcorn-type look as a way to cover and contain asbestos on the walls.

Asbestos is very flammable.

Asbestos is known for being very fire resistant and was used to protect against heat damage in building construction.

If you find a quirky, antique wood-burning stove in an old house, it's safe to just remove it and replace it.

You should enlist the help of a professional who can test for asbestos and remove the unit safely, because generally, older stoves and furnaces have surrounds or components made with asbestos and are not do-it-yourself removals -- they can be very dangerous if moved and asbestos particles are released.

Dangerous chemical releases from asbestos lessen and die out over time.

Asbestos is a very strong and long-lasting compound, and at any point it is cut or broken up, it will release dangerous asbestos dust -- no matter how old it is.

Wearing a mask and gloves is sufficient protection when removing old vinyl flooring.

Any areas where asbestos is a hidden possibility should involve testing and removal or containment by a trained professional. Even with masks and protective clothing, tiny particles of asbestos can settle onto other surfaces, and easily get tracked through and contaminate a home.

Roof tiles, even on a super high-heat day, don't release an extreme amount of asbestos.

Roofing made with asbestos is a lower risk material because it is so tightly bound up with other materials. Removal or cutting, however, is definitely a no-go without an asbestos expert.

Asbestos poisoning is thought to have happened on a grand scale in New York City in 2001.

Lawsuits and wide-scale public health investigations have centered around the collapse of the World Trade Center Towers in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001. Rescuers, clean-up crews, and area residents and workers breathed in concentrated and widely scattered debris from the collapse of the buildings, which were constructed with asbestos-containing materials.

When asbestos is released in the air, it has a distinct but fleeting smell.

Asbestos is odorless, and is indistinguishable from plain old dust.

You can pass asbestos particles to another person during kissing.

Traces of asbestos have been found in some cosmetics, water and food, so you could pick up particles by locking lips, though it's a long shot.

Chrysotile, or white asbestos, isn't as dangerous as crocidolite, also known as blue asbestos.

Crocidolite is the most hazardous form of asbestos, while chrysolite, which accounts for about 90 percent of all asbestos minerals found around the world, is not as dangerous.

Asbestos is a fiber that forms on the outside of minerals.

Asbestos is actually a mineral itself. It is mined in its naturally occurring fiber form.

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About This Quiz

Asbestos isn't something you want to know too little about, especially if you have an older home or work in an older building, but is it as bad as its rep? Test your knowledge in our asbestos quiz.

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