Remodeling Health Risks

By Robert Robillard on Dealing With Dust


Dust ExtractionRemodeling Dust Health Risks

With all the TV shows empowering home owners to independently take on remodeling projects and a home improvement retailer in practically every shopping center, there’s a definite allure to attempt these home improvements without professional assistance.

Add to that a slumping economy, crippled housing market and fast-approaching holiday season and it’s not surprising so many Americans are spending their weekends shoving lumber into the back of their minivans and borrowing tools from their neighbor. Unfortunately, while few of these brave homeowners lack motivation, almost all lack the professional knowledge to recognize serious risks that accompany a remodeling project.


Risky Remodeling And The Dangers You Could Find


Some common risks many homeowners face, especially in older residences, include decayed insulation, mold and insufficient wiring. Besides being difficult to spot by the untrained eye, these issues first need attention before those new cabinets can be hung or that chandelier can be replaced. Older electrical system, especially, poses a serious safety risk today as modern appliances with higher energy consumption tax outdated home wiring. In addition, serious fire threats are posed when older, two-pronged outlets are not replaced with the grounded three-pronged variety.

Despite these serious risks, chemical concerns pose the most direct threat to the health of homeowners and are even more difficult to recognize. One of the most widely-known hazardous home chemicals, lead, continues to pose a threat today. Although formally recognized by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services in 1991 as an especially high threat in older paints, it continues to pose a domestic danger because it was also widely utilized in a variety of common household products. Gasoline, furniture and water-carrying pipes all contained lead in the past, which again makes its recognition difficult because it was such a common component.

Another toxic chemical that remains difficult to recognize is the naturally-occurring mineral, asbestos. A known carcinogen, asbestos was also used in a variety of applications because of its high degree of insulation against heat, fire, chemicals and electricity. Asbestos continues to be found in older homes and buildings, which makes this chemical another ongoing threat in the U.S. Unfortunately, families risk continued exposure to this chemical because symptoms of the disease can take so long to appear, meaning the presence of this dangerous chemical may never even be addressed.

All of these common household substances pose serious threats to homeowners, especially when they begin projects and expose these chemicals that might have been contained before. Lead represents a huge danger, especially to young children, because of its easy absorption into growing skin. Side effects of lead exposure include serious mental, physical and behavioral impacts. Those exposed to asbestos risk developing several forms of cancer, called mesothelioma, with the most common developing in the lungs. Amateur renovators, especially, need to be cautious when removing this chemical because it is most dangerous when fractured into small particles and released into the air, where it can be inhaled. The long delay in effect, from actual exposure to the appearance of mesothelioma symptoms, make this chemical even more dangerous.

With so many risks like these, it’s often best for homeowners to hire professionals for serious structural renovation and use their borrowed tools for the more manageable projects they saw on TV.

Related Posts:

If There Is Lead Dust ~ Think HEPA

New LEAD Paint Law – Answers To Questions

New Renovation Rules For Homeowners And Contractors

Children’s Blood Lead Levels Declining

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About the author

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor

Rob Robillard is “The Concord Carpenter” Rob is a builder, general contractor, carpenter, woodworker, and editor of Concord Carpenter and ToolBoxBuzz As a General Contractor and carpenter, Rob owns and operates Concord Carpenter LLC. A full-service remodeling and construction company. Rob is a recognized leader in home building best practices and a source for how-to information for building professionals. On this website, Rob covers all aspects of home construction, building science, home improvement, woodworking, remodeling, and some of the best product and tool reviews. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review series - Concord Carpenter Videos where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob approaches remodeling and building construction with a pragmatic and problem-solving approach. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the construction and remodeling industry. He's a strong advocate for "raising the bar" in the construction trades and promoting the trades to youth. #BeAMentor #Green2Great Craftsmanship, quality, and pride guide his journey on this channel The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob If you have a building or remodeling question you can have rob respond to your answer via video. Click here for more information. Invite code: x22r2

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