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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Meet Brian!

It's been a year now since I have taken my sewing hobby and quilting to a more serious level.  About this time last year, I created a small table-top quilt with a fall theme in anticipation for Thanksgiving, and then it snowballed into me making more and more quilts--I just couldn't stop--I love it!  Shortly thereafter I created this blog and joined the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild--not necessarily in that order.  Oh, and I can't forget the sewing studio renovation.  As a result of that, I'm teaching sewing classes, and I'm quilting on commission as well as for pleasure.  So many great things have resulted from my latest pursuits.  Among these great things are the friends that I have met along the way, particularly in the guild and in the blogging community.  Just recently I connected with Brian Turner, Staff Writer and toxic substance safety advocate, who posts regularly on The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance BlogBrian's mission is to create awareness of environmental health risks and that's how we connected.  He discovered via my blog that I (actually my husband and I) had just completed a renovation and so now I am delighted for him to post his important message here and help keep us all safe.  So if you are considering future DIY projects, Brian and his colleagues are a great resource or "go to" when preparing for renovation, or other safety concerns for that matter.  And now here's Brian -


Be Careful Of Toxic Substances When Renovating

An older home is more likely to have toxic construction materials. Old homes used to be heated by boilers. Those boilers had their pipes wrapped in a paper-like substance called asbestos. Unfortunately, asbestos is highly toxic, irritating the respiratory system when inhaled, which leads in extreme cases to lung cancer, mesothelioma cancer and other disorders. Toxic products in the home can be released into the air during renovation. Homeowners must take steps to protect themselves when renovating an older home themselves.



The primary danger spots for potential problems are the basement, the kitchen and the bathroom. Actually, the water pipes throughout the house pose a problem because of the risk of mold. Even a small amount of water leaking from a pipe will create the conditions that mold likes best. While mold is not usually considered to be cancerous, victims of cancer often finger mold as a contributing factor if not the primary culprit. What is known for certain is that mold also causes respiratory problems.

Breaking open moldy drywall releases mold spores into the air, which can infect the bronchial tubes and lungs. Some forms of mold are extremely toxic and even deadly, depending on the situation. Be careful when renovating bathroom, kitchen or basement. The two most common areas for mold to grow without pipe leaks are doors and windows, especially in the bathroom. Dealing with mold requires wearing masks and gloves. The gloves prevent mold spores from getting on the hands. The mask prevents the homeowner from accidentally breathing them.

Another potentially toxic element is the insulation that was used behind the drywall. Again, this depends where the homeowner does the work. Some insulation is toxic to humans because of particles or fragments released into the air. Insulation can also off-gas volatile organic compounds or other toxic chemicals. This is a problem regardless of whether the homeowner demolishes the drywall containing the insulation. However, opening up the drywall without the proper protection the homeowner at even greater risk.

Finally, a major risk factor for various health problems in lead, which is chiefly in older homes, particularly homes built before 1978, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. (2) Lead is typically only found in paint. The paint fragments from demolished walls and ceilings can release microscopic paint fragments containing lead into the air. These lead-containing fragments are also dangerous if they are swallowed.

In all cases, separate the area of the home where remodeling work takes place from the rest of the house. Put up a plastic barrier over the doorways of the rooms being renovated. It may be wise to set up a clearing area just outside the rooms by using plastic to create a walled enclosure. This is done with severe cases of asbestos removal. In extreme situations, outside ventilation with negative air pressure machines may be utilized to make sure that all toxins are filtered out of the air. Using this method ensures that the rest of the home is completely safe for everyone involved.

Brian, thank you for stopping by and sharing such important information with us.  Please stop by whenever you would like, I'm sure we all would love to know more.  Also, readers, followers, and friends, please check out
The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Blog to obtain additional information and articles.



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