Asbestos

By
Real Estate Agent with Chinowth & Cohen Realty

                Asbestos Prevention Tips & Healthy Alternatives for Oklahoma Homeowners

 

The path to owning a home is a rewarding accomplishment that will require many new responsibilities. Homes that are newly purchased may require additional remodeling or repairs.

With the state of Oklahoma relying on oil production for many years, asbestos use was prevalent for decades. Highly regarded throughout the 20th century, asbestos was the ideal building material for many industries. Often appearing in roof shingles, popcorn ceilings, piping and insulation, asbestos became one of the most popular building applications of the 20th century. Potential Oklahoma home buyers should be aware that homes constructed before 1980 should be aware that the potential for asbestos-containing materials is still present.

This should not make you jump out of your chair because asbestos exposure is easily avoidable by taking simple precautions.

There are many green eco-friendly construction materials that replace the need for asbestos and can reduce annual energy costs. Environmental efficiency is on the rise because of technology and green sustainable methods progressing rapidly.  Not only will these methods produce a healthier lifestyle, it will save you money!

Asbestos in the Home

Removal of asbestos in public facilities, workplaces and homes should be performed by licensed abatement contractors as long as the National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) are not violated. They must wear protective equipment such as masks and gloves to avoid any exposure. The materials should be removed in as large pieces as possible and places in disposable bags. 

If any asbestos is suspected, the best advice is to leave it un-disturbed. Touching or breaking it off may cause it to become damaged and release its fibers into the air. When asbestos deteriorates and its fibers become airborne, it has the potential of causing severe lung ailments such as malignant mesothelioma and asbestosis. Physician diagnosis has been a difficult task because mesothelioma symptoms are so similar to other, less serious conditions.

Healthy Tips

With increasing technology and public initiatives, green alternatives exist which allow for an asbestos free environment. 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. Studies have shown these materials can assist in reducing annual energy costs by 25 percent.

Building green with proper insulation will save you on bills. Rather than expensive and mal-treated wood, interior walls can be made from steel and concrete, avoiding many of the problems associated with asbestos and other insulation methods.

Recently, congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act into law. Included in this act were extensions to the tax incentives placed for energy efficiency in 2005, as well as new credits for homeowners who remodel or build using eco-sustainable methods. Existing homes are eligible for a series of efficiency measures that pertain to the home shell (Insulation, Windows, Sealing) worth 30% of the installed cost (materials only, labor is not included in the credit basis).

Find out more here: Paul James,the Awareness Coordinator  (paul@asbestos.com) at the Mesothelioma Cancer Center (www.asbestos.com)

Comments (0)