adapted from article by Erik Listou
Environmental hazards are a serious matter for everyone. However, it is especially important to check for these in any home where a senior is living.
Here are some of the main hazards potentially present in a home:
The last blog covered radon gas. Let's address the other hazards here.
Some homes, especially older homes, may contain asbestos.
Where is asbestos often found?
Wall plaster – little white fibers
Vermiculite insulation in attics and walls
Floor tiles and sheet goods, including the adhesives
Roofing and siding
Textured paint and patching compounds used on walls and ceilings
Walls and floors around wood-burning stoves protected with asbestos paper, millboard, or cement sheets
Hot water and steam pipes coated with asbestos insulation
Oil and coal furnaces and door gaskets
What Illnesses Can Asbestos Cause?
Benign Pleural Diseases - Mesothelioma
Asbestos – What to Do
1. Testing - Hire a licensed professional. Ask for referrals
2. Follow their recommendations
Environmental Protection Agency https://www.epa.gov/asbestos
Consumer Products Safety Commission - https://www.cpsc.gov/safety-education/safety-guides/home/asbestos-home
International Association of Certified Indoor Air Consultants - https://iac2.org
Naturally occurring, very soft, dense, and ductile (moldable) metal
Still used in some commercial products made or imported into the United States
Very stable and accumulates in the environment
Resistant to corrosion, although acidic water may leach lead outof pipes, fittings, and solder (metal joints)
Where is lead often found?
If your home was built before 1978, it probably has items that were coated or made with lead. If the finishes still look good, they probably contain lead.
Common items with lead include:
Lead and Illness
In children, even mild lead poisoning can have a permanent impact on
attention and IQ. People who survive toxic lead levels may have
some permanent brain damage. Children are more vulnerable to serious
long-term problems. A complete recovery from chronic lead
poisoning may take months to years. (Jan 31, 2017
Lead poisoning: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia)
Lead stays in the body for different periods of time, depending on where
it is. Half of the lead in the blood will be excreted in 25 days (this is
called the "half-life"). In soft tissues, it takes 40 days for half of the lead
to be excreted. In bones and teeth, it takes much longer, up to 10
years or longer. (May 26, 2001 OSH Basics - The Health Hazards of Lead - Osh.Net