Most people that have conducted maintenance on a home or apartment in the last two decades have probably bumped into asbestos. Asbestos is a fibrous material whose strength and resistance to fire and decay made it a popular choice for numerous products in the first half of the 20th century including floor tile, adhesives and building insulation.
Unfortunately, asbestos fibers can flake off over time to move throughout the air. Eventually we can breathe the fibers in where they can cling to the lining of our lungs and inner cavity tissue. The result can be Mesothelioma, a rare type of cancer caused only be asbestos exposure (and as a result completely preventable).
Given the fact that the U.S. is not one of the more than 150 countries that completely ban asbestos there are still roughly 30 million pounds used each year in the country according to the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance. In its shredded form, that would be the equivalent of about 240,000 cubic yards, enough to fill 8,000 garbage trucks. The stalwart market presence of these kinds of toxic building material components are a continued reminder that there can still be a difference between “green” buildings and healthy buildings.
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