Prevent Asbestos Exposure in the Home: Healthy Tips and Green Alternatives

by Chris Lang on August 24, 2009

Asbestos exposureI have a friend, who had lost her husband because of an exposure to asbestos. If he knew at the time how dangerous asbestos was, he would still be alive today and they would still be together.

A lot of people don’t realize what the dangers of asbestos are and where it can be found in their home. You are about to learn why avoiding asbestos exposure is so important and what to beware of.

What is Asbestos?

Throughout the greater part of the 20th century, a naturally-occurring mineral known as asbestos was utilized in a variety of applications. Due to its flame resistant, highly durable and inexpensive qualities, it became the ideal choice for manufacturers as a form of insulation, piping, brake lining and flooring.

Asbestos Healthy Tips

Homes built before 1980 may still contain asbestos, a fibrous mineral used through the majority of the 20th century. Asbestos exposure is easily prevented by taking simple precautions. When purchasing or foreclosing a home, having the assistance of an honest Aussie real estate agent can make this process easy and stress free. This obsolete building material can easily be replaced with green methods of insulation that can even reduce annual energy costs!

If you locate any suspected asbestos, most experts advise to leave it alone and un-disturbed. A home inspector or evaluator can determine the proper course of actions. If you are having home renovations, performed, do not panic. In most cases, the best action is no action in regards to asbestos. However, if removal is necessary, it should be performed by a licensed abatement contractor who is trained and licensed to deal with hazardous materials.

Improper insulation was used in millions of homes and while it is safe when enclosed or in good condition, deteriorated asbestos can cause a slew of health problems, such as mesothelioma and asbestosis, two rare but severe forms of asbestos lung cancer. Diagnosis of this asbestos-related lung illness is a difficult task due to a long latency period and many mesothelioma symptoms mimicking less serious ailments.

Green Alternatives in the Home

Living in the 21st century, many cities are adapting to the new green paradigm, updating old homes and buildings to suit the needs of a healthier environment and home.

Implementing green methods of building can have positive environmental, health and economic benefits. These include: Conservation of natural resources, enhance air quality, protect ecosystems, energy sustainability, increase property value, improve quality of life, improvement of pulmonary and cardiac health and reduction of waste.

Environmentally sustainable insulations are made from recycled materials including cellulose, polyurethane foam and cotton fiber. Cotton fiber is made from recycled batted material and treated to be fireproof. A water based spray polyurethane foam, lcynene features no toxic components. The implementation of these eco-friendly products can reduce annual energy costs in the household by 25 percent annually.

How Asbestos is dealt with in Australia

In January 2009, the world’s largest facility dedicated to asbestos disease research opened in Australia. The Bernie Banton Center was named for an Australian social campaigner who passed away as a result of asbestosis. Professor Nico van Zandwijk, director of the Bernie Banton Center, said identifying the medical mysteries of mesothelioma remains a huge challenge.

The opening of the Bernie Banton Center has received great publicity, aiding in the increased awareness of asbestos-related disease in Australia.

In December 2008, a safety action plan was developed by the Asbestos Advisory Committee aiming to prevent mesothelioma and asbestos-related disease through awareness and education. Under the plan, the Environmental Protection Authority will distribute information to potential home buyers and workers regarding asbestos insulation.

This article has been kindly contributed by Paul James, the National Awareness Coordinator of the Mesothelioma Center. Thank you, Paul, for my chance to educate, warn and save lives.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Alexis Jamenson August 28, 2009 at 9:46 pm

Thanks for this great tips! I really need this.Keep it up!

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Laura October 7, 2009 at 7:28 am

These are great tips! I wonder if companies and schools do this as well. It really could start to decrease the amount of diagnoses of mesothelioma if there are still asbestos around in areas where it has been banned. Unfortunately there will still be a need for a Mesothelioma asbestos attorney since it takes almost as long as 25 years for symptoms to occur and asbestos is still around in places that haven’t been inspected.

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Chris November 24, 2009 at 2:41 pm

This post made it into Focus Organic carnival – head there for more interesting reads.

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Megan December 8, 2009 at 5:55 am

I think if I or someone I knew was ever diagnosed with an asbestos related disease I would head straight to Australia for treatments. I heard a man in Australia was cured from the cancer. I don’t know if it’s true, but it happens to be the largest Mesothelioma Treatment Center and it seems like you could get the best treatment from there. Not to mention it could almost be like a mini vacation out there. It’s important for patients with any disease to remain happy and active. A trip to a new country might be one of those things that can be found exciting while seeking treatment.

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Asbestos Perth September 26, 2011 at 2:53 pm

People who were exposed to the dust of the world trade centre collpase are now beginning to shows signs and symptoms of asbestos disease.
This just goes to show the hazardous nature of the material, even a one time exposure of the material is enough to make you sick.
DIY reovators are expected to be the third wave of asbestos victims, don’t become one of them.

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under floor insulation October 22, 2018 at 6:42 pm

Thank you for your post. It is very usful. I hope to visit your site.

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