Asbestos is a mineral fiber that was once used in a host of different building materials to strengthen a product or make it fire retardant. If left undisturbed, asbestos poses little health risk; however, if the fibers become airborne where it can be inhaled, then there are several health risks associated with asbestos.
If you suspect asbestos and the material is crumbling; powdery; scratched, cut or damaged in anyway that exposes fibers- STAY AWAY! Call an expert to prevent possible contamination of yourself or your family. An expert is trained in such a way as to be able to collect a sample with little risk of exposure.
Asbestos can only be positively identified using a special microscope. That being said, we will have to collect bulk material to send to our lab for analysis. The EPA probably has the best sources of information available so we’ll refer you to their site for additional information and provide you with additional resources for your convenience.