Take Precautions Against Harmful Chemicals During Renovations

While remodeling a home; there are several dangerous chemicals and harmful substances that can be released into the air. These toxins in homes are known to cause serious health conditions. When remodeling old homes, people may come into contact with dangerous chemicals and air pollutants. One of the most common and deadliest substances is asbestos. This air pollutant and others will be discussed to help renovators remain safe and sound during remodels.

1. Asbestos During a remodel, walls are often removed to reveal the original support structure and to start anew. During this process, renovators may come into contact with asbestos, a common toxin in houses found in old insulation. Asbestos is known for causing mesothelioma, a rare cancer that affects home renovators and veterans. Asbestos is a fibrous mineral that can become lodged in the tissue lining of the lungs, heart or stomach.

The mineral may lie dormant for 10 to 50 years before developing into mesothelioma.  If the cancer is not caught in its early stages, a prognosis of one to two years may be given once the disease is detected. The mineral is deadly and should not be handled without the proper equipment.

An aspirator should be worn, during any home renovations if renovators may come into contact with asbestos. Aspirators will prevent the asbestos from being inhaled and causing harm to internal tissue lining.  Gloves and protective clothing should also be worn to prevent inhalation of the material. Follow these simple guidelines to protect yourself against asbestos.

2.  Lead Paint Remodeling a home that was built prior to 1978 may increase chances of lead poisoning. Lead paint was used in these homes to resist mold, mildew, moisture and peeling paint. Lead paint is hazardous to adults and children and may lead to neurological disorders. Tests should be conducted prior to renovations to determine if any lead paint is present. If lead paint is present, the proper precautions, such as wearing aspirators and protective clothing, should be taken to avoid exposure. After the home is renovated, another test should be conducted to ensure there is no lead paint remaining in the home.

3. Mold and Mildew Mold and mildew can be present in any old or new home with extensive water damage. Mold can be toxic to health. People who are exposed to mold may have allergic reactions such as sneezing, skin rashes, watery eyes and itching.  Wheezing, chest tightness and shortness of breath may also occur when some people with a compromised immune system are exposed to mold.

Remain Safe During Home Renovations Everyone should remain safe during home renovations. There many dangerous toxins in homes that people may be exposed to during the process other than the substances mentioned. Always test to determine what chemicals are present before completing a project. Then, take the proper precautions to protect yourself from the harmful substances. An ounce of protection can prevent a lifetime of suffering.

Guest blogger, Brian Turner, has been a Toxic Substance Safety Advocate with the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance since 2007. Brian writes extensively on environmental health risks and carcinogens, as well as green building.


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Welcome to Worthington!


After 20 years remodeling homes throughout Central Indiana, we’ve decided it’s time for a remodel of our own!  Case locations in Carmel, Meridian Kessler, and Zionsville will become Worthington Design & Remodeling.

The Worthington name pays tribute to our founder and president, Larry Worthington Greene, and demonstrates our unyielding customer promise: your home is worth the very best. Expert design, craftsmanship, service, and superior results remain the cornerstone of all we do. It’s the Worthington Way.

New name—same ownership, team and award-winning dedication to superior results.