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Old Shingles May Contain Asbestos and Pose Health and Safety Issues

EMSL Analytical offers asbestos testing services to help prevent needless exposure to these potentially deadly fibers.


Cinnaminson, NJ, September 19, 2013

A do-it-yourself project that some property owners take on is replacing or fixing old and worn out shingles. What many people may not realize is that asbestos was used in some shingles that can still be found on older buildings and improperly removing them may pose health concerns.

Just this month, the Bluffton Icon published a report about work coming to a halt on the town hall clock tower in Bluffton, Ohio. Shingles were being replaced on the tower when a layer containing asbestos was discovered below the top layer of shingles.

Not only can these shingles be a health concern when working on them, but as they age and weather the asbestos fibers can become friable and break loose and be deposited around the foundation of the property. These fibers can be tracked into homes or become aerosolized when children play in the area or lawn care and landscaping activities take place.

“For many years, asbestos was added to a number of materials to increase their strength and durability and to provide some insulating and fireproofing properties,” reported Ed Cahill, Vice President, Asbestos Division at EMSL Analytical, one of the largest asbestos testing laboratories in North America. “Asbestos can at times be found in older asphalt and cement roofing shingles. In addition, some siding products, adhesives, mastics and even paints found outside of a property may contain asbestos. A quick and affordable test is all it takes to determine if shingles or other materials contain asbestos. EMSL provides sampling supplies and asbestos testing services.”

EMSL has sponsored an educational video about asbestos dangers in the home.  It can be viewed at:

People wishing to have their samples tested by EMSL should visit or, call (800) 220-3675 or email .

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental, indoor air quality and materials testing services and products to professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.



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