You may have seen the many TV commercials about people getting a cancer called mesothelioma caused by asbestos exposure. Mesothelioma is a deadly cancer caused by asbestos fibers becoming lodged in the lungs after they are breathed in from an outside source. However, what these commercials don’t explain is what asbestos is and the places it is commonly found.

Many veterans and industry workers have been making legal claims through personal injury lawyers in recent years after developing medical issues caused by asbestos exposure; however, the frightening truth is that asbestos could easily be lurking in your own home. Here are a few things you should be aware of about asbestos in homes.

If your home was built prior to 1980, it probably contains asbestos.

Most homes were built with materials that contained asbestos prior to 1980. The serious safety concerns about the fibers had not been recognized yet, and they provided a cheap and effective ingredient for many items used in home construction. If you live in an older home, you are mostly likely at risk for exposure.

Asbestos could be anywhere in your home.

Asbestos was used in a huge variety of building materials, so it could be lurking anywhere in your home. It can be found in cement roofing, siding shingles, textured paint, vinyl floor tiles, boilers, house insulation, artificial ashes in gas-fired fireplaces, walls and floors around wood burning stoves, in plumbing pipes, and more.

You may need a home inspector.

Asbestos is hard to spot unless someone has the proper training to know where to look for it. If you’re living in, or considering buying, a home build before 1980, it is a good idea to hire a home inspector to come and take a look at the space for you. Not all home inspectors are certified to check for asbestos, so make sure you find one who is.

Avoid DIY renovations if your home contains asbestos.

Probably the most common way that people are exposed to asbestos is when they are conducing DIY home renovation projects. Why? When people tear down walls, rip up flooring, work on old fixtures and plumbing, and do other renovation projects, they are disturbing the asbestos, causing particles of it to become airborne. This makes it easy to breathe them in, and once they have been inhaled, they can remain in someone’s lungs for years.

Medical problems may show up years later.

Many people don’t realize they have been exposed to asbestos until years later. Why? Well, it can take years for the asbestos particles in a person’s body to cause illness. They famously cause mesothelioma, a rare, aggressive, and fatal cancer, but they can also cause many other illnesses, including lung cancer, laryngeal cancer, testes cancer, pleural effusions, pleural thickening, pleural plaques, and ovarian cancer.

If you suspect that you may have asbestos in your home, get an asbestos inspector to take a look at it and make sure to take the proper safety precautions to keep yourself from exposure. If you think you have already been exposed, you should get the assessment of a medical professional.

 

 

 

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