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Faith Franz's blog

Green Renovations and Asbestos Removal

Home renovations – whether DIY or professionally contracted – require a significant amount of planning and foresight. Most homeowners put plenty of effort into choosing a design and crafting a budget – but there’s one consideration that’s drastically undervalued: preventing asbestos exposure during the remodel. 

While we’ve talked extensively about the natural origins of the carcinogen, we’ve spent little time discussing the ways that we can encounter it during everyday life. Most exposures occur in the workplace – but for those whose residences were built before the 1980s, exposures can occur at home as well.... read more

Asbestos Exposure and Your Health

For more than 100 years, health officials have linked asbestos to a number of serious and life-threatening diseases. Many other diseases are loosely associated with asbestos exposure, but without an official correlation.

While incidence rates for most of these illnesses have been slowly declining, there are still thousands of diagnoses made each year in the United States.

Most asbestos-related diseases, such as malignant mesothelioma, affect the respiratory system. The fibers often enter the body through inhalation, and the esophagus and lungs are the first organs the fibers reach.

However, the lymphatic system can transport fibers to other parts of the body, where they can cause similar carcinogenic processes.... read more

Since Asbestos is a Mineral, How Can it Be so Dangerous?

asbestos is a mineralAs part of their fight to keep their profitable asbestos products on the market, industry lobbyists have come up with several clever marketing campaigns to promote the fibers as “safe.” One such technique involves promoting asbestos as a wholesome material, made of nothing more than a naturally fireproof mineral.

Technically, that’s what asbestos is – a naturally occurring material that just so happens to be extremely durable and heat-resistant. But in reality, that’s only half the story.

While many people associate toxins with chemicals and man-made substances, asbestos is among several carcinogens that come straight from the earth. If you recall the peanut butter recall of 2011, or the arsenic-in-rice scare of 2012, you can thank two other “natural” toxins -- aflatoxin, a fungus that grows on stored nuts, and arsenic, which is leeched into rice from water and soil.

Clearly, asbestos is far from the only health-threatening substance that has a natural origin. But how exactly does a centuries-old mineral cause cancer?... read more

Myths About Asbestos

With asbestos-related diseases occurring more frequently than ever, asbestos has been a popular topic of discussion lately. Unfortunately, there are still many misconceptions about the mineral. Awareness is an amazing, life-saving thing, but it’s important to be aware of the truth.

Below, we debunk three common myths about asbestos:

Myth # 1: Asbestos is banned in the United States.

As a known human carcinogen, you’d think asbestos would be banned in the United States. More than 50 countries outlaw the use of the fibers – but we aren’t one of them.

We do ban a few asbestos products: corrugated paper, rollboard, commercial/specialty paper and flooring felt. However, everything outside this range is still fair game. Companies may independently choose to use asbestos alternatives to protect their workers and avoid lawsuits, but it’s purely up to them.

Legislation did once seek to implement a nationwide ban on all asbestos products. However, asbestos lobbyists had the law reversed just a few short years later.... read more

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