Monday, March 28, 2016

My Homeowner’s Nightmare


Recently, I officially became a homeowner for the first time. I couldn’t have been any happier to enjoy the opportunities that owning a home presented. I purchased an older home with my wife and we had big plans to provide this home the love and care it needed to become a safe haven for relaxation and overall, become a refuge.

The Bearer of Bad News
Our first big to-do was some minor remodeling. We had planned to knock out a few walls to increase the living area for a more comfortable feel. We excitedly collaborated with a reputable handyman to discuss our plans and collaborate on the new look that we had instilled in our minds. Soon enough it was time to begin and as I finished my first cup of coffee that morning, our handyman provided me with news that would soon have me worried. I was told that the project would have to be put on hold as our home contained asbestos.

To my knowledge, asbestos was something that industrial workers had to be cautious of before the 1980’s. As a new homeowner, I was worried, nervous, and even scared for our health. Asbestos is known for causing severe health issues and being exposed to the durable fibers can be inhaled into the lungs leading to Mesothelioma.

Asbestos
My initial reaction was to pack our bags and stay with family, until we were able to configure a plan that would help us handle this situation. Fortunately, if the asbestos containing material isn’t disturbed, there isn’t as much risk for the fibers to be disturbed and thus being released into the air for us to breathe. Be this as it may, our handyman discussed removal opportunity for us that would require a high regard for safety and recommended that this job was for professionals. Taking his word with regards to our health, we moved forward with the safe removal of asbestos and I continued my research on this matter.

Not only was asbestos used in building material before the 1970’s (textured walls and ceilings, dry wall, etc.), which is why our home contained this high risk hazard, but it was found in many commercial products before its removal in the 1980’s. For anyone who has ever been exposed to these durable fibers, you’ve been at risk as you could have potentially inhaled the fibers.

Mesothelioma
Unfortunately, when entered into our bodies, the human body has no way of being able to rid the fibers from the lungs, resulting in long-term respiratory issues as it dwells in the lungs. Mesothelioma is mostly due to the exposure of asbestos-containing material and at this time there is no cure.

Safe Removal
Soon enough, we were back in action as our handyman had assured us that, due to the high health risks, the asbestos containing materials in our dry wall had to be carefully removed with caution by sealing and covering the material during the removal process. Since the removal and special thanks to our knowledgeable handyman, we were able to achieve our dream living room with the space we needed. Although this experience brought a scare to our health, we’ve been more cautious of at-home risks that can happen every day. From the chemicals we use to clean our home to the pesticides we use outside our home, we strive to ensure our safety by looking to educate ourselves on the hidden dangers for any homeowner and family.

Fighting Against Mesothelioma
During many hours of research and conversations with construction workers and health professionals, I’ve taken upon myself to help those who have been exposed to asbestos and are now victims of Mesothelioma by spreading awareness of this disease. Be cautious of the materials and products that you came into contact with. There is nothing more important than your health. I am fortunate that we were able to catch this harmful material before being exposed. However, for those who were not, I ask of you to help me by joining the fight against Mesothelioma. This awareness will help those who are now victim and could someday save lives.

What are other hidden, harmful dangers that you’ve had experience with?

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