Dangers of Exposure to Asbestos During Home Renovations

This week, Kitchen Views has a guest blogger. Brian Turner is a health advocate and blogger for the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance, the type of cancer which comes from exposure to asbestos. Where many homeowners are planning renovations to older homes which could contain asbestos, we feel that this information is highly relevant to you.

The article below is about the health and safety concerns that one should keep in mind while doing home renovations or DIY projects, and how exposure to certain materials, such as asbestos, can cause harm to yourself and family members.

“Dangers of Home Renovations and Exposure to Asbestos” by Brian Turner

Home design trends have come and gone through the years. Some facets of a home, however, are constant. Homes need great insulation, and electrical insulation is crucial for safety. A number of materials have proven to be highly effective at maintaining a home’s temperature, and some has risen and fallen in popularity through the years. One material, asbestos, served as a primary means to insulate homes for decades. Unfortunately, asbestos has proven to cause severe health problems and even death.

In many older homes it was common at one time to use asbestos to insulate heating pipes. If you have this type of insulation on heating pipes that will be disturbed during home renovation, you must have it removed properly with appropriate safeguards.

Popular even through the middle of the 20th century, asbestos had been linked to health problems since its use by the Greeks. A lack of rigorous testing, however, left these health problems largely ignored by regulatory agencies. Some blame various factors for its sustained popularity, but asbestos remained popular far longer than it should have. Today, there is no dispute that asbestos causes mesothelioma, a highly dangerous form of cancer that can arise in individuals who have not been exposed to asbestos in decades.

Asbestos is still used in many homes today. Fortunately, asbestos does not present a risk if it is properly sealed. Many homeowners decided to seal their asbestos securely instead of replacing it, and it does not present a risk if it is properly contained. Those looking to perform home renovations, however, will need to be cautious if they suspect that their homes have asbestos.

Newly built homes are generally safe to renovate. Older homes, however, should be thoroughly inspected before proceeding. All homeowners who did not originally build their homes are strongly encouraged to ask for a professional inspection before moving forward with any renovations. While inspectors will look for asbestos, it never hurts to emphasize that you would like him or her to specifically check for it. These inspections also serve other purposes, and they can help learn about problems that will be easier to fix while the home is being renovated.

Ultimately, asbestos is a substance that merits extreme caution. Limited exposure has been linked to severe health problems and mesothelioma, and families risk jeopardizing the health of their children if they do not exercise sufficient caution. Inspections are quick and affordable, and the peace of mind is well worth the small expense.

Renovations should be an exciting time; changing and improving a home can be a wonderful experience. The threat of asbestos, however, can make renovations needlessly stressful. Be sure to exercise caution when beginning a major renovation to ensure that you, your family and the workers you hire are protected from the threats posed by asbestos.

Brian Turner
Health Advocate/Blogger
Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance

For more information, you may email Brian at brian.turner752@gmail.com

Below are several informational links about asbestos from the EPA:

http://www.epa.gov/iaq/homes/hip-concerns.html

http://www.epa.gov/asbestos/pubs/ashome.html 

http://www.epa.gov/asbestos/

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4 Responses to “Dangers of Exposure to Asbestos During Home Renovations”


  1. 1 hannawebster November 9, 2012 at 7:02 am

    Nice read!!!!! Danger of Asbestos you have explained is really great to know and can help to save many lives if we can educate people more about it. Thanks for sharing this wonderful information.

  2. 2 northerninsulation.com November 19, 2012 at 8:55 am

    This is a really informative piece of work that explains how dangerous asbestos is. People should take extra care when working on their house.

  3. 3 Erwin May 2, 2013 at 11:44 am

    It’s hard to find educated people about this subject, but you seem like you know what you’re talking about!
    Thanks


  1. 1 Dangers of Exposure to Asbestos During Home Renovations « National Lumber's Blog Trackback on October 8, 2012 at 3:28 pm

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