Does an Air Purifier Help With Asbestos? Here’s All You Need to Know!

Once a widely used material in construction and other industries, asbestos ranks as one of the most harmful contaminants in the air.

Prolonged exposure to asbestos fibers can cause severe health issues, so it is crucial for people to protect themselves.

That brings us to the question- does an air purifier help with asbestos?

Technically, air purifiers with HEPA filters can remove asbestos fibers entirely from the air within an area. But people on premises with airborne asbestos may still inhale/swallow the harmful substance.

Instead of relying entirely upon air purifiers, other measures should be taken to prevent exposure to asbestos.

In this article, we’ll discuss why an air purifier may not suffice by itself and what other steps you can take to protect yourself from asbestos.

What Is Asbestos and How Do You Get It?

Asbestos is a fibrous mineral with high resistance to electricity, corrosion, and heat.

While the mineral can be extremely useful, its highly toxic nature makes it dangerous.

The fibrous mineral can mostly be found in older homes, where asbestos was used as an insulator or in construction materials such as cement.

Asbestos is also added to paper, plastic, and various other materials to strengthen them.

According to statistics from the Health and Safety Executive, asbestos mostly affects construction workers, such as plumbers, joiners, and electricians.

Like other air contaminants, asbestos fibers cannot be seen by the naked eye.
Intact asbestos isn’t likely to cause problems – it is the asbestos fibers that bring the real danger.

Breathing in these fibrous minerals may not cause complications immediately, as asbestos-related diseases take around 15-50 years for the symptoms to develop.

Some common symptoms of asbestosis-related diseases include chronic cough, pain in the chest/shoulder, and shortness of breath.

Why Is Asbestos Dangerous?

This naturally occurring mineral can cause severe health complications, such as –

  • Asbestosis is a highly debilitating scarring on the lungs’ surface
  • Mesothelioma is a fatal form of cancer on the lung’s lining
  • Diffuse Pleural Thickening is a thickening of the lung’s membrane
  • Other fatal forms of lung cancer
Why-Is-Asbestos-Dangerous

Does an Air Purifier Remove Asbestos?

For treating asbestos, air purifiers with HEPA filters are the most effective – they can trap tiny particles as air passes through the filter.

But you’ll have to make sure you use the air purifier with proper guides and maintain it well.

Most HEPA filters have above 99% efficiency rating, and they can easily catch bacterial organisms, dust, pet dander, and even asbestos fibers.

However, when it comes to asbestos, experts recommend running a HEPA purifier multiple times within the same area.

On the other hand, an air purifier is limited to only treating the air in the room where it is running.

Therefore, the air purifier has to be moved from one room to another, or multiple units should be used to clean an entire house.

But an air purifier by itself may not eradicate the presence of asbestos completely.

As mentioned earlier, people on the premises with airborne asbestos may still inhale/swallow asbestos fibers.

More on HEPA Air Purifiers

Generally, air purifiers function by cleansing the air of toxins, allergens, and other solid particles. It does this by trapping the pollutants in a filter.

In this case, HEPA filters make use of densely woven filters that capture particles as air passes through them.

These filters can trap particles of size between 0.7 to 90 microns, so they’ll trap asbestos without any trouble.

Besides asbestos, HEPA air purifiers can also trap other air contaminants, including dust, lead, mold, etc., so everyone within the area of the purifier can breathe cleaner air.

However, the air purifier has to be run for at least a few hours before the concentration of asbestos in the air starts to reduce.

How to Safely Remove Asbestos

Before regulations were placed on asbestos, builders frequently opted for products containing asbestos, such as tiles, concrete, fences, etc.

But even after all these years, we don’t really have a better fire-proofing additive than asbestos. This means that the chances of encountering asbestos-laced products are still high.

In order to safely remove asbestos, it is best to rely on professionals.

How-to-Safely-Remove-Asbestos

You may feel tempted to save some money and do it by yourself, but it can’t be stressed enough that dealing with asbestos can lead to severe consequences.
The dangers that come with cleaning asbestos-affected areas shouldn’t be taken lightly.

You should resort to professional remediation services, as prolonged exposure to asbestos can cause serious health issues.

The absolute safest way of dealing with asbestos fibers in an old home is to demolish the structure and rebuild it.

Although it is the costliest alternative, it ensures that nobody (even in the future) will have to suffer from asbestos-related diseases.

Does Dyson Air Purifier Detect Asbestos?

Dyson air purifiers claim that they can capture 99.95% of particles in the air, or those as small as 0.1 microns. Their models also come with activated carbon granules, which absorb harmful pollutants like asbestos and gasses.

This video will help you to know more about the essentiality of the Dyson air purifiers.

The brand has received endorsements from the Skin Health Alliance and the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA).

Frequently Asked Questions

What filter do you need for asbestos?

Generally, HEPA filters are the most effective when it comes to dealing with asbestos. These filters comprise densely woven layers that can trap solid particles such as dust, mold, and even asbestos. You can opt for air purifiers that use multiple filtration technologies for the best results. For example, some air purifiers come with HEPA filters, ionizers, enacted carbon, as well as UV light.

How do I clean my house after asbestos exposure?

If you’ve just got a professional remediation service to get rid of asbestos from your home, chances are that there will be traces of asbestos on various surfaces. You can remove them with a wet mop, but it is recommended to use a specialized HEPA vacuum cleaner to clean out asbestos effectively.

How long does asbestos remain in the air?

The fibrous mineral can remain floating in the air for hours, so anyone in the vicinity faces the danger of inhaling or swallowing asbestos. In environments with minimal disturbances, asbestos fibers may take between 48 to 72 hours to settle down. However, given the light nature of asbestos, it can easily get airborne again with a little disturbance.

Can one-time asbestos exposure hurt you?

Being exposed to asbestos just once isn’t likely to be risky unless you’re in an environment where the toxins cloud the air. On the other hand, asbestos-related diseases are mostly caused after months or years of regular exposure to asbestos.

Final Verdict

By now, you should know whether does an air purifier help with asbestos or not. The air purifier unit may not be enough to completely eradicate asbestos from the air in an area.

As asbestos is highly toxic in nature, resorting to professional remediation services is the safest way to remove asbestos from an area.


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Last Updated on June 18, 2023

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Billy J. Weber

Hi. It’s Weber, founder and author of this site Currently you are reading. I am dedicated to provide valuable insights and practical tips to air enthusiasts and anyone interested in improving their indoor air quality.

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