Home is where the heart is, but it can also make you sick if you don't pay attention to what hidden dangers may be present. In this Connections' issue about health, we would like to bring attention to three specific health concerns that arise in the home; Radon, Asbestos, and Mold. All three are found in many homes in the Northeastern Pennsylvania area and can cause serious health concerns.Radon
"Radon is a cancer causing radioactive gas. Radon comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in the soil and rock under many homes and buildings, and is invisible and odorless, making it undetectable without proper testing." - Disaster Blaster
Radon is believed to account for approximately 21,000 deaths per year due to lung cancer. It is the second leading cause of lung cancer, with smoking being the number one cause. It is recommended to test your home for Radon at least every two years. Self-tests are available at your local hardware store or you can contact a qualified Radon tester. Radon exposure is easily reduced with a radon mitigation system installed by a Licensed Radon Mitigation Company. Make sure your Radon tester and your Mitigation specialist are different companies, so there is not a conflict of interest.Asbestos
Asbestos is a natural mineral that was used in building materials and can be found in homes that were built prior to 1989. The small asbestos fibers, that are not visible to the naked eye, can become lodged in the membrane in the lungs or other parts of the body and can cause health issues such as asbestosis and mesothelioma among other cancers. The use of asbestos in building products was banned in 1989 but, there are many homes that still contain pipe wrap, floor tiles, ceiling tiles, and a variety of other building materials that contain asbestos. In Pennsylvania, a contractor must be specifically licensed to do Asbestos Abatement and can be looking at fines or jail time if not properly licensed. If you suspect that you have asbestos in your home, contact a professional for recommendations of the proper action to take to safely address this hazard.Mold
Mold can be a serious health issue to those allergic to the mycotoxins released by mold spores. There have been numerous accounts of families that have had to move or entirely gut their homes due to mold that hadn't been properly identified and remediated. Some symptoms attributed to mold allergies include headaches, respiratory issues, fatigue, memory issues, and shortness of breath, along with many others. Mold grows in moist, dark places so the source of the moisture should be the first thing to be addressed. Once that is taken care of, the mold should be properly remediated. If there is only a little bit of visible mold, less than 10 sq. ft., cleaning it with a mild detergent is acceptable, however anything larger should be remediated by a professional. Mold remediation companies have the proper remediation training and equipment, including equipment to remove mold spores from the air that are not visible to the naked eye.
While Radon, Asbestos, and Mold are dangerous, they are all easily remedied by a professional. Your home should be filled with love and laughter, not dangers. Test for these health concerns and remediate if necessary so you can enjoy your home without worry.
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*Due to the risk of spreading mold spores to unaffected areas and / or worsening an existing mold issue, we recommend anyone that suspects they have a mold issue to consult with a professional prior to taking any steps themselves.
*This story originally appeared in the August 2016 issue of Connections Magazine, as part of a monthly contribution made by Disaster Blaster, Inc. Please check out the current issue of Connections Magazine for this month's story!
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