Q. What years of construction would most likely have asbestos containing materials?
Building materials used prior to 1980 are likely to contain asbestos. The years associated with the heaviest use of asbestos in the US include 1950 through 1970.
Q. Is asbestos found in new construction today?
Today’s building materials from the United States rarely include the use of asbestos. Building materials imported from other countries are more likely to contain asbestos.
Q. Do I need to be concerned if asbestos containing material is found in my home or business?
When asbestos fibers become airborne they are likely to pose a health risk.
Intact asbestos fibers pose minimal risk. Example: Asbestos containing floor tile – no cracks or chips, and wax sealant is applied as needed.
Q. What health risks are associated with asbestos? Does smoking increase risk of health concern?
Health risks associated with asbestos exposure include: mesothelioma, asbestosis and lung cancer.
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that is frequently discussed in the media. The three types of Mesothelioma include: Pleural, Peritoneal and Pericardial.
Yes, smoking increases the risk for lung cancer. There are varying studies that indicate a direct link to the increased risk of smoking along with asbestos exposure.
Q. How does mold grow in a home or business?
Microscopic mold spores are part of our outside environment. Mold can enter buildings through many different sources; including open windows, pets and footwear. Mold grows in buildings when moisture is present and has an organic host to feed on; such as paper, wood and drywall.
Q. Will I always be able to see mold if it is present?
Mold is not always visible. Mold can grow in areas that are not structurally accessible. Things that indicate the possibility of mold are: moisture on windows, sweating of concrete floors and if a person develops stronger allergy symptoms inside vs. outside.
Q. If flooding occurs, how quickly does mold begin to grow?
Mold growth is possible within the first 24 to 48 hours that water is present.
Q. How quickly can mold spread throughout a home or business?
Environmental factors, such as temperature and moisture level, determine how quickly mold will grow. Each situation requires a different number of hours for mold to spread into other areas of a building.
Q. How do I identify the difference between mold and mildew?
Mildew is mold in its early stage. Mildew and mold are both forms of fungi.
Q. How does mold affect one’s health?
There are several different classes of mold and fungi. Human sickness can range from moderate allergic reactions to severe respiratory problems depending on the type of mold one is exposed to.
Mycotoxins are fungi with a toxic effect and pose the most health risk. A few of these are listed along with associated health problems.
- Aspergillus – Hepatatoxic
- Cladosporium (Typically found outside) – Immunosuppressive
- Stachybotrus (commonly referred to as black mold) – Immunosuppressive, Hemotoxic, Hemorrhagic, Dermatitis
Q. Are all forms of mold dangerous?
No, some molds cause only a mild irritation while others are dangerous. To identify what type of mold is present a sample must taken to a certified lab.
Q. What are the potential dangers if I try to fix the problem myself?
A homeowner should not try and attempt mold remediation themselves. The use of correct engineering controls as well as proper personal protection gear is essential to complete and thorough mold remediation. Done improperly, further property contamination is at risk, thereby putting the home’s occupants at a higher threat of unhealthy exposure.
Q. What materials most likely contain lead?
- United States household paint products manufactured before 1978
- Antique toys and jewelry
- Glazed pottery and dishes
- Pipes and faucets
Q. What years of construction are most likely to have lead containing material?
Anything prior to 1978 should be tested to verify the presence of lead.
Q. Is lead still used in paint and other construction materials today?
It is still used for industrial purposes.
Q. What health risks are associated with lead contamination?
- High blood pressure
- Nervous system damage
- Kidney damage
- Fertility problems
- Premature birth
Q. How does someone know if they have been exposed to dangerous levels of lead?
Blood tests are performed to verify the amount of lead present. Low levels of lead exposure do not always make people feel sick but can still cause damage. High levels of lead are stored in the bones for up to 30 years.
Q. Do children have a higher risk poisoning?
Children have the highest risk of poisoning. Lead can be ingested or enter through airways. Young children easily ingest lead while playing. Children absorb 50% of the lead they ingest. This is a much higher percentage than in adults.
Q. Signs of lead poisoning.
- Fatigue and weakness
- Digestive issue
- Unhealthy children
- Children with hyperactivity
Q. When doing a remodeling project what should be tested prior to renovation?
The following items should be tested before they are disturbed:
- Any painted area
- Areas that come in contact with moisture – lead was used to prevent the mold
- Hardwood floors and baseboard
Q. Why should a lead remediation specialist remove lead vs. a private owner?
A certified Lead specialist will be able properly seal and contain the area of removal. This will prevent any lead dust from spreading. A lead specialist will have knowledge of proper chemicals and how to dispose of debris. HEPA machines are used to ensure proper air quality. All air samples are monitored to ensure safety.