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Does your home have materials made with asbestos?

It's an exciting time for your family: you're moving to a new home. You begin packing things up and putting everything in boxes. This type of move forces you to clean out places such as the attic and the basement, where things have been sitting for years.

Moving things around can raise a lot of dust, especially in older homes. But what some homeowners may not realize is that there could be a deadly product in their home: asbestos-wrapped pipes. In a previous post we discussed how asbestos has been used in products in the past, until officials realized how hazardous the material is to people's health.

Many older construction materials and insulation contained asbestos. Why? The material itself is sturdy, can resist fire and absorbs sound. It makes sense why it was used in homes. But in the 1970s, people began to realize that the material was harmful and caused health issues such asbestosis and mesothelioma. Several federal agencies banned the use of the material in order protect people who could come into contact with it.

While materials containing asbestos are not inherently dangerous, disturbed asbestos can get into the air and into the lungs of those who breathe it in. Once the fibers get into a person's lungs, it causes serious injury and illness.

Homeowners who discover asbestos in their house should replace the materials with safe materials. However, residents may already have been exposed to the dangerous fibers. If that is the case, it can help to speak with someone who understands the implications of being exposed to asbestos. Doing so can help an asbestos victim get the compensation he or she deserves - compensation that can help with some of the expenses that can arise with this type of illness.

Source: Ann Arbor: "Remove or encapsulate torn asbestos pipe wrapping to prevent inhaling airborne fibers," Judy DiForte, Nov. 6, 2011

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