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Blog Environmental Issues Asbestos In Home
Asbestos In Home
Environmental Issues
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Asbestos is the name given to describe a group of naturally occurring minerals that were incorporated into thousands of applications around the world. Highly regarded for its fire and heat resistant qualities, asbestos rapidly became the ideal insulation choice for manufacturers in the 20th century. Although it was banned in the U.S. in 1978, it was not until the middle of the next decade where its use was halted dramatically.

Asbestos Use In Construction

Many homes and buildings constructed before 1980 have the strongest likelihood of containing asbestos materials as insulation for piping, siding and flooring. It was also used in a type of flocked roofing called “popcorn ceiling,” which was especially popular for decades. Even property built in the 1990’s has a chance of containing asbestos. This is as a result of the vermiculite insulation that came from a mine that at one point in time, heavily produced asbestos. It can still be out there hiding in homes and other buildings of age.
 
Although asbestos is one of the more hazardous building materials ever used, you should not become too worried because exposure to asbestos is preventable by taking some easy precautions. Having the assistance of a professional home inspector in San Diego will be beneficial to make sure your property is free and clear of asbestos or any other harmful materials.

Asbestos Safety

When dealing with asbestos, there are some basic tips and guidelines to follow that work in most situations. Firstly, the general rule of thumb is to leave asbestos alone and undisturbed. If asbestos is in good condition and in a non-deteriorated state, it will not pose an imminent risk. If it is in bad shape, this is what is known as “friable” asbestos, which means that it is in a damaged state. Some general locations that asbestos may be found in homes include: roof shingles, attic insulation, pipe coverings, joint compounds, electrical wires, furnace cement, fire brick and gaskets.
 
Receiving a home inspection can provide understanding and peace of mind that your property is free and clear of health-damaging materials. Advances in technology have made allowed consultants to rapidly assess your home and study any areas of concern. Homes may require structural inspections or renovations and a professional home inspector can identify the materials and provide an expert consultation for you. They will identify material defects in structures and components of the home, in adherence to or exceeding national, state, and industry regulations and standards. It could be one of the most important investments to protect your home and investment.
 
Asbestos that is disturbed can allow its fibers to move into the air, where they can be inhaled by an individual and lodged into ones chest cavity. Mesothelioma is a rare but severe form of lung cancer that is caused by exposure. The most common form of the cancer is pleural mesothelioma, which develops in the lining of the lungs. This illness has a long latency period lasting anywhere from 20 to 50 years for symptoms to develop. In the majority of cases, this leads to late diagnosis and it makes the mesothelioma life span of a patient not as positive. Remember, not all people who inhale asbestos fibers develop an illness and exposure is avoidable if proper precautions are taken!

Asbestos Removal & Green Insulation Alternatives

The San Diego Department of Environmental Health has an asbestos program that can assists citizens and homeowners with pertinent information in regards to the usefulness of a home inspection and the safe handling/removal of asbestos. These types of public programs help protect and promote the physical and environmental health of citizens from asbestos exposure. Asbestos removal must be performed by licensed abatement contractors who are trained in handling toxic substances and come prepared with the proper safety equipment for themselves and others.
 
State and federal practices are upgrading building methods in order to achieve environmentally habitable insulation, better heating, cooling and lighting systems. Recently, the U.S. Green Building Council conducted a study which estimated a new savings of $50-$65 per square foot for positively constructed green homes and buildings.
 
Eco-friendly materials that replace the need for asbestos and can reduce energy costs annually include the use of: cotton fiber, lcynene foam and cellulose. Cotton fiber is quickly becoming a favorite for home builders and renovators. Made from recycled batted material, it is also treated to be fireproof. Lcynene is a high performance safe foam insulation that has quickly become an industry standard for its high efficiency and safe qualities. These alternatives provide the same insulation benefits as asbestos, minus the health deteriorating qualities.

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Darin Redding
Written on Tuesday, 15 March 2011 07:20 by Darin Redding

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 March 2011 12:31
 

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