Lead and asbestos are naturally occurring minerals that were used in construction materials for homes and commercial properties up to the 1980s. Though occurring naturally in the environment, direct exposure to lead and asbestos can have significant life-threatening side effects which is why, if you are purchasing a home built pre-1980, it is important to have it tested for lead and asbestos.
Before 1978, lead-based paints and pipes were extremely common in homes due to lead’s malleability compared to other metals. However, it has since been shown that exposure to lead contaminates drinking water and air quality, resulting in many health risks to small children and pregnant mothers.
Asbestos was also a common construction material used throughout the 1970s, used primarily in roofing, insulation, tiles, and, perhaps more recognizably, in popcorn ceilings. While harmless if intact, if asbestos-laden materials are damaged, the particles from the asbestos are released into the air. Breathing in these particles can cause life-threatening health complications, including lung cancer.