Monday, April 6, 2009
Recently, I received a letter from Joe Lederman, Awareness Coordinator at the Mesothelioma Cancer Center. In his letter he states, "As you may know, homes built before 1980 likely have asbestos insulation in them. When homeowners remodel, they may expose themselves to asbestos, which could lead to a fatal cancer known as mesothelioma. There are many environmentally sustainable, healthy and GREEN ways to insulate your home and this is among the topics we like to discuss."
I invited Mr. Lederman to submit an article on the subject which he graciously agreed to do. His article is interesting and informative ... and offers us one more reason to live a greener life. A big THANK YOU, to Mr. Lederman and the Mesothelioma Cancer Center.
In the modern world, the need for sustainable technologies and green living has become an essential part of our daily lives. Due to expanding technology and long term cost efficiency evolving at a large rate, the need for environmentally sustainable and healthy building materials is growing as well. Building green is a method to utilize our natural resources while establishing healthier homes that produce a better environment, improve health, lower annual energy costs and reduction of your carbon footprint.
Used in homes as a form of piping and insulation throughout the 20th century, asbestos exposure can potentially cause many health concerns. There are many green, eco-friendly materials in the home that replace the need for asbestos and can reduce energy costs annually. The implementation of Eco-construction and alternative energy solutions will play an important role in the transformation to a healthier and sustainable world.
Asbestos was used in industrial applications such as insulation, piping, roofing and automobiles. Many homes, buildings and public facilities may still contain asbestos and other hazardous materials. Asbestos still regularly appears in roof shingles, dry wall, attic insulation, popcorn ceilings, joint compounds and electrical wires.
In many instances, the best action is no action at all. Disturbing asbestos in good condition may cause its fibers to be released into the air. The inhalation of asbestos fibers can lead to the development of lung ailments such as pleural mesothelioma and asbestosis. Controversy has been associated with asbestos incidents due to manufacturers covering up evidence of its toxic qualities for decades. Recently, this has lead to mesothelioma lawyer firms protecting and advocating the rights of victims. The negligence involved with asbestos exposure has become known as one of the more formidable cover-ups by manufacturers in the 20th century. Thousands of civilians, workers and military personnel were wrongfully exposed for corporate financial gains.
Exposure to asbestos can be easily avoided by taking simple precautions. If you find asbestos in the home, you shouldn’t panic. Most experts suggest leaving it un-disturbed until an inspector can determine the legitimacy of concerns. In many cases, removal may be necessary and must be undertaken by a licensed abatement contractor who is trained in handling hazardous materials.
Many cities and states in the U.S. are pushing for green sustainable technologies to be utilized in the public and private sectors. Everyone strives for clean air to breathe and clean water to drink. Unfortunately, many modern conveniences increase pollution and health problems.
The U.S. Green Building Council conducted a study which estimated a new savings of $50-$65 per square foot for positively constructed green buildings. As education and technology of green sustainable practices increase, the numbers will continue to rise.
The implementation of recycled building materials such as cotton fiber, lcynene foam and cellulose can reduce annual energy costs by 25 percent. Cotton fiber is 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.
Currently, many cities in the U.S. have created lumberyards which re-store where you can purchase recycled building materials that are authentically strong and inexpensive. 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. These new environmentally-sustainable alternatives create healthier, quieter and more energy efficient homes in the 21st century.
I'd like to again thank Mr. Lederman for making us aware of this important subject. For more information, please visit the Mesothelioma Cancer Center. As always, I would love to hear from you.