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So, a couple months ago my dad had to take down the heat duct in my basement where it connects to the ceiling. Now i see that there is white tape areound where the duct is. Is it asbestos. My house is pretty old. The problem is some of it is damaged and torn. How dangerous is this. I dont know what to do.

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There are three types of asbestos you may be dealing with...  (chrysotile, amosite, and crocidolite)   The crocidolite is far more dangerous, the chrysotile or amosite.  The asbestos in your home is most likely not crocidolite, but all asbestos is considered dangerous and they tend to get lumped together.  

You should be able to get a "free estimate" from an asbestos remediation company that will confirm what type of asbestos you have.  Then you need to consider whether you want a remediation.  Either just the small job, or a total home.  Most "experts" believe homes with the less dangerous types of asbestos are safe to live in, as long as the asbestos is not crumbling or flaking into breathable air.  Some "seal" loose asbestos by painting over it to keep it from crumbling, but this can make a future remediation more difficult.  

Asbestos is only dangerous if you breath dust from it into your lungs...  Remediation techs will do small jobs by spraying the asbestos with water to prevent it from dusting, and then carefully scraping the wet asbestos away using approved dust masks.  It should then be disposed of using haz-mat protocols to prevent it from drying out and dusting again which could harm others.  

A total house remediation will increase the value of your home, and legally, once you know there is asbestos, you may have to disclose this if you sell your home in the future.  

I have asbestos in my "popcorn" ceiling...  I painted it shut and sealed it in and have been living in my condo like this for 20 years.  Learning you have an "asbestos problem" can be very distressing, but if you think of asbestos like electricity; very dangerous if you come in contact with it in the wrong way, but completely safe as long as you are "insulated" from it; you can learn to live with it quite easily.  

Don't panic, and think carefully before you act.  

If you're concerned you may have already inhaled asbestos from the work done so far on your home, there really is absolutely nothing that can be done at this point but to "not smoke" tobacco.  Smoking greatly increases the risk for asbestos related cancers.  If you don't smoke, and you haven't inhaled substantial amounts of dust from the disturbed asbestos so far, there really is very little to worry about.  
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Well what if the tape is ripped of an hanging a little. Can i still just paint over it. Is there anything soecial i have to do or just paint over it. Also I dont know how much i wouldve inhaled already. Its in my basement but idk if it could be blowing all through the house from the air duct.
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