"Asbestos" is a generic name given to a fibrous variety of six naturally occurring minerals that have been used for decades in the development of thousands of commercial products. The term "asbestos" is not a mineralogical definition but a commercial name given to a group of minerals that possess high tensile strength, flexibility, resistance to chemical and thermal degradation, and electrical resistance. These minerals have been used in many products, including insulation and fireproofing materials, automotive brakes and textile products, and cement and wallboard materials.

The asbestos minerals have a tendency to separate into microscopic-size particles that can remain in the air and are easily inhaled. Persons occupationally exposed to asbestos have developed several types of life-threatening diseases, including lung cancer. Although the use of asbestos and asbestos products has dramatically decreased, they are still found in many residential and commercial settings and continue to pose a health risk to workers and others.

Lead Removal

Many homes and schools built before 1978 will have some lead-based paint on the interiors and/or exteriors. Lead paint can also be found on playground equipment, boats and bridges. Exposure to lead can cause brain damage, especially in children and pregnant women.

The most common cause of exposure is from the dust generated when you sand lead-based paint or when the paint chips or peels with age:
If the paint is chipping, contact a professional contractor who is trained in lead-based paint removal and clean up. Do not hire an amateur or do-it-yourself handyman to remove lead-based paint.

Lead-based paint in good condition, however, does not present a problem and should not be removed unless appropriate measures are followed. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has information on lead hazard control on their Web site.

Mold Remediation

Molds produce tiny spores to reproduce. Mold spores waft through the indoor and outdoor air continually. When mold spores land on a damp spot indoors, they may begin growing and digesting whatever they are growing on in order to survive. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, and foods. When excessive moisture or water accumulates indoors, mold growth will often occur, particularly if the moisture problem remains undiscovered or un-addressed. There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture.
See also: An Introduction to Molds at