Learn How to Reduce Lead Paint or Asbestos in Your Home
In simple terms, indoor air quality notes how good or how bad the air is inside the places we live or work. Indoor pollution sources that release gases or particles into the air provide the primary cause of indoor air quality problems. For example, both lead paint and asbestos can be released into the air you breathe. Additionally, sanding of old paint, disturbing old insulation in your attic, upgrading heating pipes or replacing old windows offer other examples of activities that potentially cause lead or asbestos particles to become airborne in your home.
Asbestos fibers may be released into the air when asbestos-containing material is disturbed (usually during home maintenance, repair or remodeling projects). In general, exposure occurs only when the asbestos-containing material is disturbed or damaged in some way to release particles and fibers into the air.
The three major health effects associated with asbestos exposure include:
- Lung cancer
- Mesothelioma (a rare form of cancer found in the thin lining of the lung, abdomen and heart)
- Asbestosis (a serious progressive, long-term, non-cancerous disease of the lungs)
Some of the most common places in older homes that contain asbestos includes attic and wall insulation, roofing and siding shingles and steam pipes coated with asbestos material. Attic and wall insulation that possibly contains asbestos is called “vermiculite”. Fortunately, now vermiculite remains an outdated type of insulation not used anymore. Previously, homeowners poured vermiculite into their attics. As a result, today, many older homes contain vermiculite hidden in attics by more recent insulation. For homes that contain vermiculite insulation, assume this material contains asbestos. Additionally, like other types of asbestos, this insulation should not be disturbed. Finally, if found, call an experienced asbestos renovator or abatement contractor.
Lead affects almost every organ and system in your body. Additionally, children six years old and younger remain the most susceptible because their growing bodies absorb more lead than adults. Plus, their brains and nervous systems remain more sensitive to the damaging effects of lead. For example, even low levels of lead in the blood of children result in:
- Behavior and learning problems
- Lower IQ and hyperactivity
- Slowed growth
- Hearing problems
Finally, if your home was built before 1978, there is a good chance it has lead-based paint. In 1978, the federal government banned consumer uses of lead-containing paint. Additionally, lead from paint, including lead-contaminated dust, is one of the most common causes of lead poisoning today.
Since lead paint and asbestos obviously cause negative health issues of occupants in homes, homeowners must learn about lead paint or asbestos. Ultimately, the goal remains eliminating any harmful effects in your home.