Our homes are our sanctuaries, the places that we retreat into to find safety and protection from the dangers and challenges of life. These are the places we build our families, raise our children, laugh at the joys in life, and mourn life’s hardships. To think that these very buildings that shelter us and guard against the hazards of our modern lives may also pose hidden dangers can be unnerving. But just because something is unpleasant does not mean that we should ignore it. Instead, being informed about asbestos exposure can help us to address and manage hidden dangers, such as the risks of asbestos exposure in the home.
What is the Source of Asbestos Exposure in the Home?
Asbestos exposure in the home can be from multiple different sources. Asbestos has been used in construction for a number of different purposes—as a fire retardant, in floor tiles, in acoustical tiles, and in insulation, to name a few. Asbestos was banned from use in new purposes in 1977, though its continued use in historical applications is still allowed. In most cases, asbestos exposure is the result of asbestos-containing materials being disturbed and the asbestos being released into the air where it can either be breathed in or swallowed.
How Are We Exposed to Asbestos at Home?
The most common cause of asbestos exposure in the home is from home renovations that involve materials containing asbestos. Both small and large renovations may result in the release of asbestos and result in an exposure to asbestos fibers. Simple drilling of holes or sanding of wall texture can release asbestos into the air where it can then enter the body. Due to the shape of asbestos fibers, once asbestos enters the body, it is difficult for the body to remove and can travel deep into tissues. This can eventually cause health problems are mesothelioma, asbestosis, or lung cancer.
What Should be Done if Asbestos Exposure in the Home is Suspected?
Simply having a home that contains asbestos is usually not something to be concerned about unless the asbestos-containing material is in poor shape or if home renovations are planned. Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that is only dangerous when it is disturbed, and the best idea is to leave asbestos-containing products and monitor their condition to make sure they do not become damaged.
If you plan to make changes to your home or if part of your home needs repairs and you are concerned about asbestos exposure in the home, hire a qualified asbestos professional to handle the testing and repairs. Though you might be wondering how to detect asbestos in your home yourself, the only accurate way to make that determination is to take samples and have them analyzed by a qualified lab. Just taking a sample could release asbestos fibers and result in asbestos exposure in the home.
What Are Symptoms of Asbestos Exposure in the Home?
If you believe your home contains asbestos and worry that you may have experienced asbestos exposure in the home, seek the help of a qualified medical professional. Asbestos exposure does not result in immediate health problems. Instead, problems may not arise for decades after exposure has occurred. Some symptoms of asbestos exposure in the home include:
- Trouble breathing, wheezing, and hoarseness
- A persistent, worsening cough
- Blood in fluid coughed up from the lungs
- Pain or tightening of the chest
- Trouble swallowing
- Neck or face swelling
- Loss of appetite or weight
- Fatigue or anemia
If you or someone you love is suffering from asbestos exposure in the home, Nemeroff Law Firm is here to help. With over 150 years of collective experience fighting to help victims of asbestos exposure, we will fight for you. Contact us at 866-342-1929 or via email.