Asbestos and You

I was contacted by Brian Turner, the Toxic Substance Safety Advocate for the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance (http://www.mesothelioma.com/) asking if I would share some information about asbestos.  If you live in an older home (ours was built in the 1920’s), you probably live with asbestos.  Most of the time, nothing will ever happen to you by living with intact asbestos material.  Take a look at your hot water heater.  If it is a gas water heater, is there a white pipe leading the exhaust outside?  That’s probably asbestos.  Asbestos was used for everything from insulation to flooring to siding to roofing tiles and many more.  Why was asbestos so “in vogue”?  Well, it was mostly due to its ability to withstand heat, decay and erosion.  It is also fire and water resistant.  So, why am I sharing this information with you?  If you buy an older home and want to tear up anything, you need to know about asbestos.  Heck, when we tore out the carpet in the bedroom (many of you may not have been around when we did that last year) I was hoping we could take it down to the wood floor.  Well, underneath that awful carpet was even more disgusting linoleum.  Before I tried to rip it up, I decided to look it up, since I had never seen linoleum with a canvas backing.  It turns out it very well could have contained asbestos.  So, after dousing the whole floor with Odoban (remember, dogs had lived in that room for about a month prior to being moved out), the floor was sealed, then more carpet was installed.  I did not want to deal with properly removing it with all of my health issues.  Here’s a great Australian blog about dealing with asbestos when you renovate your home: http://spionline.com.au/blog/latest-blogs/12107-the-30-minute-reno-asbestos-must-knows.  Here is a guest post written by Brian Turner for Ryan Davison in 2012: http://hubcityblog.com/2012/11/23/home-renovations-and-exposure-to-dangerous-chemicals-roofing-asbestos-and-recommendations/. So, I’m posting this to make you aware and to make sure to stay safe while demolishing your new-to-you home.

This is a flier used by the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance for their Mesothelioma Awareness Day. If you have any concerns or questions regarding asbestos, asbestos exposure or Mesothelioma, please go to http://www.mesothelioma.com/ and thank you, Brian, for asking me to post about this.

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