Asbestos-Free Living: Tips for Creating a Healthy Home Environment

 Asbestos was a revolutionary natural mineral found to be highly affordable, available, and beneficial in product production, particularly for the home. An appealing trait of asbestos is that it does not burn. Flame retardant material was considered a way to protect our homes.

But the first lung cancer and asbestosis cases related to asbestos exposure were documented in the mid-1930s. By the mid-1960s, diseases related to asbestos exposure were rampant. And by 1989, the United States aimed to remove asbestos from most products, though it still exists in manufacturing and home products today.

How to be Asbestos Free

The facts surrounding asbestos can be confusing. Undisturbed asbestos material will usually pose no health threats. When materials containing asbestos begin to break down, tear, crack, or become worn, it presents a significant danger. 

Removing the possibility of asbestos exposure is often the goal when considering the home’s environment. One of the most striking facts from studies of asbestos exposure is that the effects of exposure to asbestos are not reduced over time. The effects from exposure stay with an individual, and evidence of disease often appears decades later.

Removing all asbestos may be impossible, but avoiding exposure to asbestos is essential to creating a healthy home environment. These tips can protect your family from the dangers of asbestos and keep you breathing effortlessly.

Reducing Asbestos Exposure Indoors 

Asbestos particles are not distinguishable to the naked eye. One of the best ways to reduce asbestos exposure is through asbestos testing. Asbestos testing companies are the safest way to test for exposure and limit potential contact. But home kits are available for sale to test for asbestos in your environment.

Do Not Disturb

A sure way to protect your family from asbestos is not to disturb any material in your home that may contain asbestos. To prevent adding products to your home that may contain asbestos, read the warning labels on any item before you buy. Some of the items in your home that may contain asbestos include:

  • Vinyl floor tiles and adhesives

  • Attic insulation

  • Roofing and siding shingles

  • Contaminated talc products

  • Some children’s toys

  • Hair dryers

  • Bottle warmers

  • Stoves

  • Dishwashers

  • Washing machines

As products begin to break down, discard them to prevent asbestos exposure.

Use Water to Trap Dust

A beam of light shining through a window exposes the dust particles in the air. Airborne asbestos particles become dangerous when they are present in your home, so the use of water can help reduce the particles when cleaning.

  • Use damp rags instead of dry dusters to clean.

  • Use a wet mop to clean floors.

  • Wipe pets with a damp cloth after going outside.

  • Use a vacuum that has a quality HEPA filter.

Buy Washable Products

Household items, like rugs and bedspreads, can hold dust and dirt. Be sure to purchase washable items to remove the risk of exposure by washing.

Leave Work Clothes Outside

If you work in an industry with a higher chance of asbestos exposure, consider removing your clothes before leaving work. Documented cases have shown family members of industrial and construction workers suffer from the effects of asbestos exposure on soiled clothing. Also, leaving shoes outside prevents the spread of asbestos particles from the soil to the home. 

Reducing Asbestos Exposure Outdoors 

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral found in rock and soil. There are also ways to protect against asbestos exposure outdoors.

  • Wet the soil before gardening and in play areas.

  • Use asbestos-free landscaping soils and products.

  • Become familiar with the presence of asbestos in your area.

  • Reduce construction dust when building and avoid these same risks by closing windows when construction is present in your neighborhood.

Tackle Home Improvement Projects Safely

Even new homes require maintenance to stay in shape. When home projects are on your to-do list, limit your exposure to materials that may contain asbestos. Older homes with historic appeal carry an even greater risk for asbestos exposure. Many homes built before 1980 include products that contain asbestos.

Live Asbestos Free

Everyone is exposed to asbestos at some point in life. The goal is to minimize the risk as much as possible. Keeping your family safe requires awareness, but keeping your home safe and preventing the effects of asbestos exposure is worth the diligence.

No comments