Renovating Homes and Commercial Properties Increases Asbestos Exposure Risk

Asbestos Exposure Risk

Renovating Homes and Commercial Properties Increases Asbestos Exposure Risk

When people learn that their home may contain asbestos, they are often terrified. Lung cancer and mesothelioma have been related to asbestos exposure, notably in construction workers and manufacturers who were frequently exposed to it on the job. Every day, most Americans spend at least one-third of their time inside their homes, which is a lot of time to be breathing air that could make you sick.

People frequently want to know where asbestos can be located and what the implications are of having asbestos in their home. If you’re a house buyer, seller, or remodeler, here’s what you need to know about asbestos.

Where Can I Find Asbestos in My Home? 
Asbestos-containing building materials include, but are not limited to:

  • Insulation (vermiculite)
  • Shingles
  • Old cement siding
  • 9”x9” floor tiles
  • Acoustic ceiling tiles
  • White tape on heating ducts
  • Insulation on boiler pipes and boilers
  • Popcorn ceiling texture
  • Glues used under flooring

How to Detect Asbestos in a Renovation
Even though asbestos is heavily regulated, modern residences may contain asbestos; however, older properties built before the mid-1980s represent the highest risk.

A plan for confining or removing any asbestos detected during a remodeling project on an older property should be included in the project. If you are concerned about asbestos, you can get assistance from a professional asbestos contractor. Since there are health hazards linked with asbestos exposure, it’s crucial to know where this carcinogen can be hiding in your home. Asbestos is often well-enclosed, keeping fibers contained and people safe from exposure.

However, as you knock against walls, remove plumbing fixtures, pipes, and perform other remodeling work, asbestos fibers may be disturbed potentially contaminating the air in your home. If you’re not sure, hiring a skilled professional is the best option. Professionals in asbestos abatement can either contain or remove asbestos, so it’s best to not attempt to do so yourself.

What Can I Do If Asbestos Is Present in My Home?
If you believe something in your house has asbestos, don’t touch it. Even if the material is in good shape, leaving it alone is the best option. Contact a skilled and accredited asbestos professional if the material looks to be damaged or if future actions may cause it to be disturbed. Access to the area should be restricted until an expert can validate the absence of asbestos. Knowing where asbestos materials are in your house, as well as their location and present state, is the greatest method to avoid asbestos exposure.

Mesothelioma can take anywhere from 20 to 50 years to develop. If you or a loved one is suffering from mesothelioma or lung cancer, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact Goldberg, Persky & White, P.C., for a free consultation to learn more.

Sources:
Rosati Rosie, National Association of Realtors, “Watch for Asbestos When Renovating Older Homes: You May Be at Risk” [Link]
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, “Where Can I Find Asbestos?”  (2018, September 17) [Link]
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