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Lead and Asbestos in Older Homes - The Issues

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By : Vicki Hat    99 or more times read
Lead and asbestos are two popular materials used for building homes. Lead was known to be a component of paint. On the other hand, asbestos was known to be a good material for insulation. Both of these materials were commonly used for its affordability and quality. Unfortunately, there were unseen adverse effects of using them. People, who have been overly exposed to these two has contracted serious illnesses that made them terminally ill.


Lead has become a popular decorative paint used all over the world a long time ago. In United States, it was discovered that almost a three fourths of the houses in the country were painted with lead.

This kind of paint is used in older homes that were built before 1950s. If properly maintained, the said paint could be less risky. However, great concerns arouse when the lead paint starts to chip off or when it begins to deteriorate. This is because it could get into the hands of the kids and the dust it creates could be circulated in your home; hence, you would end up breathing them.

Breathing-in the paint dusts and ingesting them could lead to poisoning. And when high concentrations of lead are present in the body, it could be fatal. Kidney damage is apparent. Children in their early developmental stages are at risk for retardation. There are plenty of chronic and acute illnesses that a person could contract if they have this in their blood.


Asbestos was proven and tested for insulation. These mineral fibers were usually added as a component for various materials in order to add durability and to increase resistance to heat and fire. They can be found in floor tiles, furnaces, boilers and many others.

When kept intact, asbestos materials could serve their purpose well. Unfortunately, all things deteriorate. When it is disturbed, the fibers could become loose and since, they are microscopic, they may be hard to depict. Hence, it gets included in the circulation and people living in the house get to breathe them in. This then impairs the indoor air quality.

Three popular diseases associated with asbestos inhalation are lung cancer, mesothelioma and asbestosis. Although, these disease does not usually show signs and symptoms after 20 to 30 years, but it could greatly reduce the life expectancy of a person.

Tackling Lead and Asbestos Problems

Since lead and asbestos are popular for older homes, one should suspect their existence, should a home purchase for this caliber has been made. Home inspection plays a vital role in identifying their existence. If you have identified them, you may want to have the place fixed up before moving in. If you are renting, ask your landlord about the house condition. They are responsible for disclosing information such as this.

If you discover deteriorated areas in your home, seal them and do not allow your kids or any members of the family to go in that area. Do not also in anyway, aggravate the problem to avoid direct contact.
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