Asbestos Tips & Healthy Alternatives for Massachusetts Homeowners

Asbestos Tips & Healthy Alternatives for Massachusetts Homeowners

Due to the state’s 400 year old existence, Massachusetts is known for its rich history, beautifully designed cities, higher education and vast rural areas. Regarded as one of the great American traditions, it can also be a time where additional responsibilities are acquired. Having the assistance of an experienced and reliable Medford, Massachusetts real estate agent can make all the difference during this process.

Asbestos became a prominent building material in construction around 160 years ago as a form of insulation, piping, brake lining and flooring because of its fire resistant and versatile qualities.
It should be known that homes and buildings built prior to 1980 may still contain asbestos materials.

This is not to make you jump out of your chair because asbestos exposure is easily preventable by taking simple precautions. There are now many eco-sustainable options that make the use of asbestos obsolete.

Even if asbestos shingles are on your home, if they are in good condition and left undisturbed, they are not a serious problem. The mere presence of asbestos in a home or a building is not hazardous. Most home inspectors and contractors advise to leave it un-disturbed as asbestos in good condition does not pose any health risks.

Long term exposure to asbestos can lead to the development of rare, but severe lung ailments known as mesothelioma and asbestosis. Diagnosis of this asbestos-related lung illness is a difficult task due to a long latency period and many mesothelioma symptoms mimicking less serious ailments.

It is highly recommended for home and business owners to not disturb any suspected asbestos, as this can make its fibers become airborne. The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection will help and assist citizens in the disposal and removal of asbestos. According to state and federal laws, the removal must be performed by abatement contractors who are trained in handling toxic materials. The failure to remove asbestos materials prior to remodeling, renovation or demolition activities may result in penalties from exposure, decontamination and higher costs.

In the state, construction practices are upgrading methods to suit better lighting, heating, cooling systems and environmentally habitable insulation. Some eco-friendly alternatives to asbestos insulation include: cellulose, which is becoming a popular new green insulation material. It is chemically treated to reduce levels of mold. Cotton fiber is made from recycled batted material and is then treated to be fireproof.

These options have been shown to reduce annual energy costs in the home by 25 percent. The move to a greener lifestyle will build on the change to healthier methods of building products, home remodeling and renovation.

Recently, congress passed an economic stimulus package that promotes energy efficiency for home and business owners. The American Recover and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009 include incentives for upgrading to more eco-friendly/sustainable methods of energy and insulation. The move to a greener lifestyle will build on the change to healthier methods of building products, home remodeling and renovation.

Content Provided Courtesy of : Paul James - Mesothelioma Cancer Center -

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