Homeowners are constantly faced with routine maintenance and repairs, and many like to modernize their homes with extensive remodeling projects. While these types of upgrades and repairs are necessary, there could be hidden dangers for unsuspecting inhabitants. Asbestos containing materials that are disturbed can release toxic fibers into the air that cause cancers such as mesothelioma and asbestosis. Homeowners are strongly advised to hire an accredited asbestos professional to inspect their home before any maintenance, repair, or remodeling is done.
Asbestos can be found in many aspects of a home, including heating ducts, insulation, tile floors, exterior siding, and other building materials. Undisturbed and undamaged asbestos does not pose a danger, however when these products become damaged, toxic asbestos fibers are released into the air and can be inhaled by all those living in the home. These fibers can also be spread throughout the home when workers or occupants walk through areas with damaged materials. The fibers attach to the shoes, clothing, and hair of those who come into contact with them, and then travel with the person throughout the home.
If you suspect that there is asbestos in your house, or even if you are not sure and plan to remodel your home, contact an accredited asbestos professional to inspect the area. Until you know for sure whether an area is potentially dangerous, take special precautions. Do not drill, scrape, hammer, or saw any materials that may contain asbestos. Do not use abrasive brushes or cleaners or power strippers on asbestos flooring. Do not sand or attempt to level flooring that may contain asbestos. You should also never sweep, dust, or vacuum potentially affected debris.
Repairing or removing asbestos containing material involves sealing and covering the material to avoid asbestos fibers from becoming airborne. These processes are difficult and require specialized knowledge and skill. Never try to remove asbestos yourself. A licensed and accredited asbestos professional can ensure the process is safe and protect the health of your family. Fibers that are inhaled become embedded deep into lung tissue and can lay dormant for a period of 20-40 years before cancer is detected. Once diagnosed, these cancers are almost always fatal.
If you require the services of an asbestos contractor or removal company, educate yourself on proper removal procedures. Be sure that the contractor provides documentation that ensures they will follow all federal, state, and local laws pertaining to the removal and disposal of the asbestos-containing materials. Be sure that they seal the area off from the rest of the house, and that they take extra precautions to wet areas to be disturbed to reduce the chance of fibers becoming airborne. When the work is complete, check that the contractor uses an industrial cleaner and vacuum to ensure the area is safe and free of asbestos fibers.
Exposure to asbestos is a serious threat to the health of everyone that comes into contact with the toxic fibers. If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, contact New Jersey asbestos law firm of Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler at 800-369-0899 or complete our online contact form to schedule a consultation with one of our highly skilled and experienced New Jersey mesothelioma lawyers. Conveniently located in Philadelphia, our office serves clients throughout New Jersey and Philadelphia including the surrounding areas of Chester County, Delaware County, and Philadelphia County.