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Asbestos, which was commonly used in a variety of building materials through the 1970s, can cause cancer and a variety of other lung diseases. According to the EPA, asbestos can pose serious health risks when small particles are released into the air. In homes, this tends to happen when building materials containing asbestos begin to deteriorate or when these materials are damaged during repair or remodeling projects. Most home inspectors can recognize building materials that are likely to contain asbestos. Confirmation requires taking samples of these materials and having them analyzed by a lab. In general, if asbestos materials are in good condition, the EPA recommends encapsulating the material in place, that is, laying new flooring over old asbestos tiles or sealing insulating material on pipes. If asbestos materials must be removed, the process can be very expensive. Check out the EPA’s home page for asbestos issues. Another great source of information is the web site for the Mesothelioma Center at http://www.asbestos.com/.[/expand]