Asbestos exposure doing home renovations

Home renovators exposed to asbestos in walls

Just bought a an older house? Be sure to know that there is a high risk of asbestos exposure doing home renovations yourself.
Yes, asbestos can often be a hidden killer in the old building materials. Asbestos is commonly present in older houses, and when demolishing, sanding, drilling, scraping or in any way disturbing those materials, asbestos fibers spread all over the room and the rest of the house if not taking precautions to contain it.

Here is an example of a person demolishing a wall in an older building while renovating, exposing himself and his family to loose fill asbestos insulation within the walls. While somewhat aware of toxic materials in older building materials, he is assuming a filter mask and a funny t-shirt is enough for protection. He seems ignorant of causing widespread asbestos contamination of the entire area, and likely the rest of the house, in the process. This activity will result in him and the family breathing airbourne asbestos fibers for many months or even years.

This is a grand example of innocent families being exposed to asbestos in their own home, simply by attempting to renovate their home. While bans and regulations are in effect to protect industry workers from asbestos exposure at their workplace, domestic exposure like this is rarely highlighted or warned about. Asbestos exposure by home renovations has now been shown to cause a “third wave” of lung cancer and mesothelioma cases.

Sources:

https://www.mja.com.au/journal/2011/195/5/increasing-incidence-malignant-mesothelioma-after-exposure-asbestos-during-home
(pdf)


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