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Asbestos exposure in your own home?

It is not uncommon for families to store items in the attic. From clothes to books to holiday decorations, it makes sense to squirrel away boxes of things that might only be used once or twice a year. Unfortunately, these storage areas as well as the products themselves might present numerous hidden hazards to an unsuspecting family.

  • Home storage: Unfortunately, due to the popularity of certain materials many homes built before the 1980s contain significant amounts of asbestos. Whether asbestos was directly used in the production of components such as pipes or tiles, or another product was contaminated with it, many homeowners run the risk of dangerous exposure. Vermiculite was used for insulation from 1919 to 1990. Unfortunately, the majority of vermiculite sold in the United States was mined in Montana ... a mine that was contaminated by asbestos. Likewise, the vermiculite used in American homes was also contaminated.
  • Vintage items: Again, due to the features of the mineral, for decades consumer products relied on asbestos as a protective material. Fake snow, for example, or other Christmas decorations such as bulbs, tree skirts and patterned table cloths made use of the fire preventing feature of asbestos. While the use of asbestos in these products has ceased, many families keep vintage decorations or heirlooms that might contain this dangerous material.

What is asbestos?

Asbestos is a naturally-occurring fibrous mineral that is often found in similar geographies to talc - sometimes sharing the same mine. The material was found, quite early on, to contain "miracle" properties of strength as well as heat and fire resistance. For centuries, asbestos was used, mixed with other materials, to enhance a product's ability to protect users from heat or as a fire-proofing agent. For example, home insulation contained asbestos, steam pipes contained asbestos, roofing tiles contained asbestos, and on and on.

Unfortunately, as these products deteriorated, consumers and factory workers alike began to inhale or ingest the asbestos fibers. These fibers, once inside the body, wreaked havoc on numerous systems. Various forms of cancer typically invaded the lungs, the colon, the ovaries and nearly any other organ. Mesothelioma, a deadly form of lung cancer, is common among those who were exposed to asbestos.

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National Mesothelioma, Asbestos & Injury Law Firm

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