Green Alternatives to Asbestos

Last week Jesse Herman, Awareness Coordinator at the Mesothelioma Cancer Center contacted me to see if I would post a public service announcement regarding asbestos.  After reviewing the information I feel it is something our readers could benefit from. Hence, I am posting the information he sent below as is – with only few edits and reformatting.

Asbestos Removal and Green Alternatives – Path to a Healthy Home

by Jesse Herman, Awareness Coordinator, Mesothelioma Cancer Center

When remodeling, foreclosing or purchasing an older home, there are many things to consider. Used for more than a century as a form of building insulation and piping, homes built before 1980 have the strong potential of containing asbestos.

With increasing awareness and technology, there are a variety of insulation alternatives and building materials which easily replace the need for asbestos. Potential and current homeowners should be aware that exposure to asbestos fibers becomes a health concern when high levels are inhaled over a long period of time.

Used in millions of homes, asbestos insulation can be a real problem for homeowners due to causing a variety of lung ailments, such as malignant mesothelioma and peritoneal mesothelioma. Recent studies indicate that over 2,000 to 3,000 cases are diagnosed every year in the United States alone. Workers and real estate’s-man all over the world are now receiving the proper indications and information towards the risks they face.

The United Nations Environmental Program states that the use of recycled building materials such as cotton fiber insulation can reduce energy use by 25 to 35 percent. The numbers continue to improve as more eco-friendly options become available. These kinds of figures have attracted those who were unaware of eco-friendly construction.

Asbestos removal in public facilities, homes and workplaces must be undertaken by a licensed asbestos abatement contractor if the National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) are not violated. Once the removal is complete, green insulation options should be given serious consideration, such as: Cellulose, Cotton Fiber and Lcynene. These asbestos alternatives will not only reduce energy costs, but allow for a clean, healthy home, free of health damaging materials.

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