In the world of home remodeling and construction, there are many things that should be taken into consideration. It is important to take note of the consequences of improper building materials and environmental degradation.
One of the older building materials that are highly toxic is asbestos, a naturally-occurring mineral that was used in thousands of applications around the world. Due to its flame resistant, highly durable and inexpensive qualities, it became the ideal choice for manufacturers as a form of insulation, piping, roofing and flooring.
These older, corrosive building materials have and are being pushed out because of the green building paradigm. The implementation of Eco-construction and healthy home solutions will play an important role in the transformation to a healthier and sustainable world.
Asbestos Exposure & Healthy Tips
Many older homes and buildings built prior to 1980 may still harbor asbestos, but even homes built in the later may contain it because of the slow process to completely phase out the mineral. According to the experts, the general rule of thumb is if the asbestos is in good shape, it’s posing no apparent risk. If it’s in bad shape, it could be a problem. This is a serious concern because its toxic fibers can easily circulate and become inhaled. If any suspected asbestos is located, the best advice is to leave it alone. Asbestos that is left undisturbed will normally pose no harm.
Exposure to asbestos has been proven to be the only known cause of a rare but aggressive form of lung cancer known as mesothelioma. Due to a long latency period of 20 to 50 years for the disease to develop, a mesothelioma life span is not as positive as one would hope because of the difficulty diagnosing it. Approximately 2,000 to 3,000 cases are diagnosed every year in the United States, accounting for three percent of all cancer diagnoses.
GREEN Homes Push Asbestos Out of Homes
A catalyst for homes, industries, schools, universities and business, the incredible diversity of enterprises is driven by a common bound to move to a green lifestyle. Building green is a method to utilize our natural resources to establish healthier and more a sustainable form of living and many cities and states in the U.S. are pushing for green sustainable technologies to be utilized in the public and private sectors.
“Green” home modifications will help save on energy costs and provide tax credits, but some of them may even be better for your health. The Department of Energy concluded that cooling and heating counts for up to 50-70 percent of all energy used in the average home in the U.S. In today’s state, this philosophy can also save natural resources. Environmentally sustainable methods of building can have positive environmental, health and economic benefits. These include: Conservation of natural resources, enhance air quality, energy sustainability, increase property value, improvement of pulmonary and cardiac health and the reduction of waste.
There are many green materials that replace the need for asbestos and can reduce energy costs annually such as: cotton fiber, lcynene foam, cellulose and a thermal ceramic insulator. The ceramic foam is made of aluminum oxide, a high temperature ceramic noted for great insulating powers from its tiny air bubbles.
Cotton fiber is also becoming a favorite insulation method. Made from recycled batted material, it is then treated to be fireproof. Water based spray polyurethane foam, lcynene, is a healthy insulation which contains no toxic components. These asbestos alternatives allow for a healthy, safe home, free of health damaging materials.