Helpful information from my Guest Blogger – Rachel Walker*
I am grateful for Rachel sharing this information. A member of my extended family was touched by the dangers of Asbestos poisoning. Knowledge is power so I hope this post brings you helpful information. Let’s keep our family as safe as we can.
Asbestos in the Home: Protect Your Family
Asbestos is a mineral that was once used heavily in a multitude of industries because of its ability to prevent fires, contain heat, and insulate. Construction companies and manufacturers in particular relied extensively on asbestos. Yet, even though it was meant to keep products safe, it did the opposite to those who had to work around the dangerous mineral for prolonged periods. Construction workers, factory workers, assembly line workers, and others who worked around asbestos ran the risk of inhaling the thin, fine fibers of asbestos. These fibers may seem harmless at first, but when ingested, they can lead to fatal illnesses such as malignant mesothelioma. Mesothelioma law firms have handled thousands of cases in recent times from mesothelioma cancer victims. Often, these asbestos victims have a very short life span following a mesothelioma diagnosis.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s Regulations on Asbestos
The Environmental Protection Agency caught on to how dangerous asbestos is, and in turn, along with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) enforced strict regulations in the late 1970s that prohibited most job sites from using it anymore. However, any appliance, fixture or home that was created before the EPA ban may contain asbestos. If your home is older and/or you have appliances and fixtures that date back prior to the early 1980s, there is a chance you may be living around asbestos.
Keep in mind, however, that asbestos will usually not harm you or your family as long as it remains undisturbed. The problem, however, is that lots of people complete minor home repairs, such as fixing the furnace or patching up a leaky ceiling before knowing if there is indeed asbestos in the home. Children may roughhouse in the home and inadvertently disturb asbestos around the areas where the repairs are being made.
What to Do if You Suspect Asbestos in Your Home
If you live in an older home, it’s important to seek assistance from a qualified asbestos professional before you start any home repairs or renovations. In fact, most states require that you register an inspection with a professional asbestos abatement technician for most major renovation projects. It’s extremely difficult to ascertain whether your home and appliances contain asbestos just by looking for it, so it’s imperative to never start any repairs or renovations if you live in an older home without having it inspected beforehand.
Common Appliances and Fixtures in the Home that May Contain Asbestos
Again, it’s important to remember that if your home and appliances are relatively new, you probably will not have asbestos. For older homes, common appliances and fixtures where asbestos was used, per the Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry (ATSDR), include:
- Floor Tiles
- Duct and insulation
- Joint compounds
- Ceilings and ceiling caulk
- Floor tiles
- Sheet vinyl
- Electrical wiring
Again, knowledge is power. I hope you found this information helpful.
For more information you may contact: *Rachel Walker - Outreach Coordinator –MesotheliomaLawyerCenter.org