Your home is supposed to be your safe harbor, and should be the last place you might think of as a source of asbestos exposure leading to malignant mesothelioma. But as thousands of Australians sickened by loose asbestos-contaminated insulation can tell you, your home has the potential of hiding secrets that could cost you your life. Asbestos was a popular building component prior to the Environmental Protection Agency’s revealing it as a carcinogen, and though its use was largely stopped, most houses built prior to the 1980s used it in one way or another. So how can you tell whether your home’s environment is safe?
The first thing you need to do is educate yourself about both mesothelioma and asbestos. The rare and fatal form of cancer is caused by exposure to asbestos, and in the United States most often that exposure comes from occupational settings rather than from the home. The insulation that was blown into attics in Australia was a loose fill, which was able to seep through homes’ cracks and crevices, contaminating all surfaces and impacting air quality. The asbestos that was used in American homes was largely in ceiling and floor tile, in the glues and compounds that were used, and though these posed a risk to installers who were cutting and working with the products on a regular basis, for homeowners it would only pose a risk if they were planning a renovation or demolition project that would disturb the material.
If you are planning on having any work done in your home and it was built prior to 1985, it is a good idea to bring in a licensed asbestos inspector who can tell you whether there is any mesothelioma risk from hidden asbestos. Though the Clean Air Act of 1978 largely prohibited the use of asbestos materials, it did allow contractors to use their remaining inventories in order to avoid causing financial harm.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma and you need assistance in determining how they were exposed to asbestos, we can help. Contact us today at 1-800-966-2244.