DIY Renovators at Risk of Asbestos Exposure

Think asbestos is a problem of the past? If you’re one of the many Americans who love getting your hands dirty with a do-it-yourself home renovation, you might want to think again.

Decades after it was identified in studies as a serious hazard to human health, asbestos still lurks in the walls, floors, roofs, and insulation of millions of American homes.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), there are numerous places in and around homes that could potentially contain materials made with asbestos. These include insulation, floor coverings, walls and ceilings, pipes, furnaces, appliances, and many more.

Over time, asbestos-containing materials can crumble and become reduced to powder. This can present health risks to anyone living in a home containing asbestos, especially when those materials are disturbed during the course of renovation. As the EPA notes, the asbestos fibers that can cause health problems such as mesothelioma and asbestosis (a serious lung disease) are much too small to be seen without a powerful microscope. In fact, an asbestos fiber is 1,200 times thinner than a human hair.

As the economy improves and DIY home renovations increase, fears are increasing that many homeowners could unknowingly be exposed to asbestos. In fact, a recent survey in Australia found that six out of 10 DIY renovators who responded have been exposed to asbestos, but only 12 percent regularly used equipment to protect themselves from this toxic mineral. And perhaps most troubling, a high proportion of those renovators say that their children were also exposed to asbestos.

For much of the 20th century, Australia, like the United States, used asbestos in the manufacturing of certain building products.

According to the National Cancer Institute, there is no known safe level of asbestos exposure and even small exposures could potentially cause serious health problems.

If you or a loved one was exposed to asbestos and has developed mesothelioma, you may be eligible for financial compensation. Call Sokolove Law today for a free case evaluation.