Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Global Asbestos Awareness Week, April 1st to April 7th and Old House Renovation

Inforgraphic from the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance.

Asbestos, a fire retardant, is carcinogenic.

It's "easy" to not take it seriously, because for most of us, we only hear about the problem through television ads from law firms seeking to represent victims with claims to the compensation fund that was set up to help the afflicted.

While it is banned from use today, it is not uncommon to find it while renovating a house, and this is shown occasionally via the tv programs on home renovation that run on channels such as HGTV and the DIY Network.

Global Asbestos Awareness Week, which starts tomorrow, April 1st and lasts through April 7th reminds us that the problem of exposure to asbestos is real and that we must continue to be vigilant and to take the proper precautions when we come into contact with it.

-- Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization
-- Asbestos-Cancer webpage, Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance
-- "What You Need to Know About Asbestos," This Old House Magazine
-- "Old House Remodeling Danger: Deadly Asbestos," Old House Web

From the latter article:

  • According to the EPA, it can be found around the home in various places:
  • Roofing and siding shingles may be made of asbestos cement.
  • Houses built between 1930 and 1950 may have asbestos as insulation.
  • Some vermiculite insulation may contain asbestos fibers, particularly if the vermiculite was mined in Libby, Montana. That mine also included a deposit of asbestos, leading to contaminated vermiculite. The mine closed in 1990, but until then, it was a major supplier of vermiculate in the world.
  • Textured paint and patching compounds used on wall and ceiling joints, especially "popcorn" ceilings from before 1977 may include asbestos.
  • Old stove-top pads may have asbestos compounds.
  • Artificial embers used in gas-fired fireplaces may contain asbestos. Also, walls and floors around woodburning stoves may be protected with asbestos board or paper.
  • Asbestos is found in some vinyl flooring, both sheet and tile. It also was used in floor adhesives.
  • Insulation on hot water and steam pipes in old houses may contain asbestos
  • Oil and coal furnaces and door gaskets may have asbestos insulation.

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