While the home provides a happy refuge from the elements and outside world, it’s important to take into account the oftentimes dangerous materials and hazards used in its construction – mostly after parts of the building have been exposed due to disaster or negligence. These materials can be dangerous to both your health and the environment.
Handling And Identifying
Some hazardous materials may involve federal, state and local laws or regulations. Before handling them in reconstruction, it’s important to know which ones are reusable or which materials should be disposed of in ways that are compliant with your local environment safety laws. It’s serious business. Older homes built before 1978 require certified environmental consultants by law to consider which materials do and don’t follow modern day standards.
Most Common Deadly Materials
The two most common hazardous materials that can be found in your home are asbestos and lead-based paint. Even contractors who work on homes built before this time need to be trained and certified to ensure maximum safety. In a nutshell, reconstruction should be taken extremely cautiously.
Dangers of Lead-Based Paint
Lead is a highly toxic substance that can cause a range of health problems, especially for younger children and babies. It can cause damage to the brain and other organs, specifically the kidneys. In extreme cases, lead poisoning can even cause behavioral problems such as learning disabilities or seizures.
If you have a child in a house built before 1978, it’s important to remember to frequently wash their hands and toys that come in contact with dirt and dust. Keep the area clean and wash down flat surfaces with a paper towel and throw it away on a regular basis.
Deteriorated lead-based paints can chip or melt off and combine with the soil and dust around your home. While this is rarely a problem in a normally standing structure, older devastated homes can quickly become a dangerous place.
Dealing with Asbestos
When materials containing asbestos are damaged, fibers are released into the air that can cause some various lung diseases when inhaled. The longer a home is left damaged, the more potential asbestos has of becoming significant medical hazards.
The scariest threat involving asbestos is Mesathelioma, a lung cancer that is almost specifically related to asbestos and once diagnosed, is almost always fatal. It involves inhaling asbestos for a long period of time. In extreme cases, a person can develop asbestosis, a scarring condition of the lungs that produces shortness of breath.
While it may seem like an outdated concept, don’t be so sure that you’re out of harm’s way. Asbestos can be even found in buildings built or refurbished before the year 2000.
Both these illnesses occur because of long-term, constant exposure and can completely be avoided by doing proper renovations and keeping up with modern day safety measures. Call us if you need help.