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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Guest Blog: Health & Safety Concerns for Home DIY Projects

Asbestos in the Home
Image courtesy of the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance.

Avoiding Chemical Exposure From Home Renovations

If you plan on doing any DIY home improvements, there are many points to consider before taking that step. You and your family could potentially be exposed to some dangerous substances that may be hazardous to your health if the proper precautions are not taken.

What you should know

If you are renovating an older home, remember that asbestos is one of the common dangerous substances you may encounter as you work. In addition, many people have no idea that their health has been affected until they develop mesothelioma many years later and no preventive measures can be taken. Unfortunately, once the asbestos becomes lodged in the lungs, heart or stomach, the process becomes irreversible.

What you can do

Remember to use aspirators, protective clothing and gloves as you work to prevent any health problems the harmful substances can cause. Be aware that inhaling mildew and mold, which develop in a dark, damp area after a flood or leaks, can cause you to break out in a rash or become lethargic or ill. Whenever this occurs, they should be removed promptly.

Exposure to radon is another common problem that can cause your health to deteriorate. This gas is colorless, tasteless and odorless, and a special test is needed to determine if it is present. Since it can cause harmful conditions such as lung cancer, exposure to radon should always be avoided.

You can reduce the possibility of becoming exposed to these life-threatening substances by learning more about the topic and taking the necessary precautions as you work. If you wear the recommended gear when removing them, you will have the satisfaction of a job well done and protect your family at the same time.

Brian Turner has been working with the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance as an environmental health and toxic substance safety advocate since June of 2007. Brian brings a tremendous amount of research and awareness experience in environmental health risks, environmental carcinogens, and green building expertise. Brian is very interested in all types of cars; his favorites are classic, muscle, and imports. Brian is commonly found playing and watching various sports with his friends.

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