People usually take physical dangers seriously; however, when risks are invisible, and their effects are not immediate, they go unnoted. Despite its importance, respiratory protection during home improvement projects is often neglected, unlike sight, hearing, and body protection. You need your lungs to breathe just as much as you need ears to hear and your eyes to see. The hazardous effects of long-term asbestos inhalation are almost common knowledge.
Asbestos is a colorless, odorless, naturally occurring mineral found in over 3,000 building materials in many homes built before 1990.
Inhaled asbestos particles is one of the major causes of mesothelioma and asbestosis (fibrotic lung disease). These diseases can lead to respiratory complications and eventually cause death. Long-term exposure to asbestos fibers also enhance lung cancer risk.
Nowadays, workers get exposed to asbestos through unsafe practices during renovations and demolitions in residential construction.
Some common asbestos-containing materials include:
- Loose insulation
- Vinyl and linoleum flooring,
- Roof shingles
- Gypsum-board filling compound
- Pipe insulation
- Deck under-sheeting
Mostly, asbestos-containing materials are safer if left alone. However, when disturbed by cutting, sanding, tearing, or scraping, asbestos particles can be released into the air and inhaled. That exposure may lead to severe illnesses such as lung diseases and cancer.
When working in older houses, asbestos particles may get exposed and cause serious health risks. If inhaled, these particles stick in the lungs and respiratory paths, causing tissue damage. Older house renovation plans should always observe safety rules for removing asbestos. Below are some familiar places where you can find asbestos in your house:
- Decorative plaster
- Flat roofing material
- Drywall patching
The contractor owes workers a safe workplace. Before work may disturb asbestos commences, contractors should ensure that an experienced and qualified person inspects and identifies, and removes the asbestos-containing materials. Trained and skilled personnel should carry out asbestos identification and removal to minimize the risk of exposure. Observing safety guidelines towards a secure home remodeling can save time and money and ensure good health for you and your loved ones.
Workers also have the duty for their safety and health and that of their colleagues, including following safety guidelines, refusing to expose themselves to dangerous work, and reporting the cases.
Careless handling of asbestos results in stop-work orders and unnecessary fines, which could cause losses to your business through;
- Missed deadlines
- Lost hours and
- Canceled projects
The employer provides personal protective equipment before starting a home improvement project. Home renovation projects are as risky to your respiratory system as working in a factory or industry.
The best way to protect your respiratory system when exposed to asbestos is by using appropriate respirators. You can only achieve maximum protection by a respirator can only be achieved after appropriate functionality testing. Properly working and fitted respirator only allows air in and out from the proper components.
Like asbestos exposure, inhalable silica can also cause serious health problems during a home renovation. Demolishing drywall puts dust, RCS, and other harmful materials airborne.
If you get exposed to asbestos, you should seek a doctor’s advice. Furthermore, taking preventive measures to avoid further damage to the respiratory system may lower the risks of developing a disease or slow down the escalation of a preexisting condition.
Additionally, you can file a mesothelioma claim against the contractor for negligence. Seasoned mesothelioma attorneys can offer legal advice so that aggrieved parties can pursue justice and the compensation they deserve.