Last month saw 2013’s annual Global Asbestos Awareness Week. Didn’t know such a thing took place? Well you do now. Asbestos has a longer history than most people realise, dating back to Ancient Greek and Roman times, but unfortunately this useful building material is also a killer.
Exposure to asbestos causes mesothelioma, a type of lung cancer, and those that have been affected by this awful disease felt that people didn’t know enough about the dangers of asbestos. The mesothelioma community launched the Global Asbestos Awareness Week to educate others about the hazards of the deadly material.
One of the main points they wanted to educate people on was the many places asbestos could hide in your home. DIY and ancient household appliances pose an often unknown threat to homeowners, so read on and keep yourself safe.
Upgrade Your Slow Cooker or Crock Pot
You might think it’s nice that you’ve still got your granny’s ancient slow cooker, but unfortunately you might be exposing yourself and your family to toxic substances. Chrysotile, or white asbestos, was commonly used in the manufacture of crock pots before regulations came in. Although this type of asbestos is less likely to cause cancer, it is still toxic and you’d be safer to replace your kitchen aid with a new model.
Check Your Hairdryer
Asbestos started to be regulated in the late 1970’s and it was around the same time that a consumer report revealed hairdryers were emitting asbestos fibres. Although it’s unlikely that you’ve still got a working 1970’s hairdryer you should still be cautious. Many foreign manufacturers don’t have the same environmental regulations and could be using asbestos in their products.
Ditch the Popcorn
Similarly to hairdryers, domestic popcorn poppers manufactured in a foreign country could contain asbestos. Asbestos has been found in the electrical element used to heat the air to make the popcorn ‘pop’ and in the power cords as an insulator. So ditching the popcorn could be good for your health in more ways than one.
How Old Is Your Home?
If you’re going to be doing any serious DIY such as lifting flooring, removing ceiling textures or knocking down walls it’s important to consider how old your home is before you start. Any home built before or during the 1970’s is likely to contain asbestos somewhere in its walls, ceilings or loft space.
The best way to protect yourself and your family is by getting a professional contractor to look at your property before any building work begins. These contractors carry out asbestos surveys to ensure there are no harmful carcinogens present in both domestic and commercial properties.
We all like to save a bit of money, but not upgrading your domestic appliances or paying for a survey could seriously harm your health. Asbestos can hide in some shocking places around the home and you could be putting yourself and your loved one’s health at risk. If in doubt it’s best to trade your product in for a newer model, and get in touch with an asbestos professional before any home renovations.
Rob Rudd enjoys writing about many subjects from health and fitness to law and finance. In his spare time he enjoys open water fishing and free diving.