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Common Sense Protection for DIYers

Posted on Mon, Mar 04, 2013

This is a guest blog by Brian Turner, a toxic subtance safety advocate. More of his blogs can be found here. Content originally featured on Bruce Irving of This Old House site.

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Eliminate Asbestos Before Beginning Home Renovations

Asbestos can pose serious problems to do-it-yourselfers during renovations. Many people want to preserve old homes because of the location of the home or because the foundation is structurally sound. The problem with many older buildings built prior to the 1970s is that the buildings may have asbestos or lead present in the walls or insulation. Radon may also be an issue if the foundation is cracked. This can pose a safety hazard to people living in the homes or renovating the homes. There are precautions that people can take to ensure their lives are safe during a renovation.

Hire Asbestos Removal Experts or Rent the Proper Equipment to DIY
A project is still considered a DIY project if professional asbestos removal people come and properly remove asbestos from the home or building. This ensures that you and your family are not exposed to the harmful material.  After the asbestos is removed, your team can start fresh and add all new materials. As long as the new materials are safe, your new home will be toxin-free.

Ensure There is No Mold or Cracks in the Foundation
While the walls are open, verify that there are no leaking pipes or cracks in the foundation that might allow in moisture and lead to mildew or mold. Cracks in the foundation may also allow in radon gas. Both mold and radon gas can be hazardous to health and should be eliminated when the asbestos problem is addressed. Radon gas is responsible for lung cancer, and mold is responsible for lethargy, confusion, itchy skin, rashes, watery eyes and other symptoms. This will ensure that the home is safe and toxin-free after the renovations are complete.

Harmful Effects of Asbestos
Asbestos causes mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer that affects the lungs, stomach and heart. Asbestos is a deadly substance that enters the body through inhalation. The minerals may remain lodged in a patient’s tissue for 10 to 50 years, but most patients only live with mesothelioma approximately two to four years. The prognosis is bleak for most mesothelioma patients if the cancer is discovered in the late stages. Asbestos exposure simply should be avoided at all costs to avoid living a life with a terminal illness.

Protective Gear Should Be Worn When Handling Asbestos
Experts recommend that protective gear should be worn when removing asbestos. Protective gear may consist of an aspirator, gloves and protective outerwear. This will protect home renovators from asbestos exposure. Asbestos exposure may lead to cancer.

Mesothelioma is a serious condition that should not be taken lightly. Many people with mesothelioma have developed a better quality of life with improved services, but life can be optimal if asbestos is avoided. Always purchase protective gear for projects with potential exposure to asbestos.

Asbestos Exposure is Serious: Take Necessary Precautions
Asbestos exposure is serious and requires using proper equipment to prevent exposure. Consider hiring asbestos removal services for fast and efficient asbestos removal. The service is affordable compared to living with a lifetime of cancer.

More information is available at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Blog.