When buying a new home or remodeling your current home, it is important to know everything about the property. Sometimes small details can be overlooked. These small details can cause serious health problems. One of the hidden dangers inside buildings built before 1989 is the presence of asbestos.
Asbestos was used as an ingredient in many products to increase its strength and resistance to heat. Flooring, roofing, piping and insulation were some of the more common products that contained asbestos.
Unfortunately, the products that were meant to keep us safe can become very harmful if the asbestos becomes ingested. Friable asbestos products are easily able to deteriorate and release asbestos in the air. Once the tiny needle-like asbestos fibers are airborne they can easily be ingested by the body. Then, the fibers can penetrate through the organs lining and disrupting neighboring cells causing uncontrolled cellular replication, forming mesothelioma cancer.
It may take 20-50 years after being exposed to asbestos for mesothelioma cancer to form. Once diagnosed, life expectancy factors include; age, staging, and gender.
Other dangerous asbestos-related diseases are lung cancer, asbestosis, and pleural plaques. Seventy-five percent of asbestos-related diseases are in the lungs. However, asbestos doesn’t just hurt the lungs. The digestive track and heart are other places mesothelioma cancer can form.
Products that contain asbestos are not easy to identify on sight. Do-it-yourself projects may run into problems if asbestos is unknowingly disturbed. A good rule of thumb is if it looks like asbestos, treat it like asbestos and hire a licensed professional to come and take a look.
A recent study published in the Medical Journal of Australia said that DIY are largely to blame for an increase in asbestos related diseases.