Many people are inspired to do home repairs and home remodeling themselves, especially with network shows like HGTV and This Old House making it look so simple to fix up a house. Unfortunately, many homes built before 1980 have asbestos in them, and doing home improvement tasks could cause serious illnesses.
Victims exposed to asbestos can develop a condition called asbestosis as well as other serious issues, including lung cancer or a rare type of cancer called mesothelioma that usually only develops from asbestos exposure. The illnesses may not show up for decades after the exposure, but mesothelioma and other asbestos-related health problems can be difficult or impossible to treat. An experienced mesothelioma lawyer should be consulted by victims for help in pursuing a claim for compensation if they are ill as a result of asbestos exposure.
Asbestos Exposure for Do-It-Yourselfers Can Cause Serious Illnesses
Recent reports from a survey in Australia indicate that home renovators account for the largest portion of asbestos-related malignant mesothelioma cases that are not caused by occupational exposure. As many as 35.7 percent of cases involving women between 2005 and 2008 were attributed to home renovation. For men, who generally have a greater risk of workplace occupational exposure, around 8.4 percent of malignant mesothelioma cases were explained by home improvement work.
Exposure to asbestos in the home could occur because people cut into walls or other materials in their home and end up encountering asbestos materials without realizing what it is. Fireplace, ceilings, linoleum and roofs are all places where asbestos is likely to be found.
Certain renovation activities, such as those involving power tools, could result in exposure to high concentrations of asbestos fibers on a short-term basis. Other renovations that last for a longer period of time could result in cumulative exposure to asbestos.
There is some debate over exactly how long someone needed to be exposed to an asbestos fiber in order for it to be harmful or to create an enhanced risk of mesothelioma, asbestosis or other health conditions. However, in most cases, studies have shown that even doing one single home improvement task, which could last for just a day or so, could end up causing a significant health risk.
Because of the dangers associated with home improvement projects, it is advisable for homeowners to consult with experts. Trained professionals know how to safely remove asbestos so that there is no risk of getting sick from being exposed. In cases where homeowners do decide to tackle home improvement work on their own, it is important to be watchful for any unidentified white substances and to stop working immediately and get the substance checked by a knowledgeable professional.
If you or a loved one is diagnosed with mesothelioma, call for a free and confidential appointment at (617) 777-7777.
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