Asbestos – What It Is, Health Risks, and More

Although mostly banned in the US and many countries, the chance of asbestos exposure is still quite strong. Asbestos was once a commonly used mineral in several different industries, but today it is known for its health threat in the form of mesothelioma and lung cancer.

Understanding the threat starts with knowing what asbestos is, where you are likely to be exposed, the health risks associated with it, and how it can be safely removed.

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a natural mineral that is made of small fibers which are so small they cannot be seen by the naked eye. These fibers are quite strong, resistant to heat, and even fireproof. Because of the abundance of asbestos and its fireproof qualities, it was commonly used in many industries for decades. Perhaps its most common function was in commercial structures where its heat and fire resistance made it well-suited as insulation material.

However, by the late 1970s studies showed that the microscopic fibers in asbestos caused lung cancer along with mesothelioma, a condition that is only caused by the inhalation of asbestos over time. Because of the studies, regulations on the use of asbestos became stricter and asbestos used in structures started to be removed.

While not fully banned in the US, its use is quite limited. However, in many other countries asbestos is still commonly mined and used in a wide variety of industries.

How to Become Exposed to Asbestos?

In its natural form, asbestos is mostly harmless as the fibers are trapped within the material. However, when processed the fibers become loose which makes them dangerous. The most common means of exposure is in the presence of products that use asbestos such as the following.

  • Insulation, Roofing, & Other Construction Materials
  • Cement, Paint, & Drywall
  • Tiles, Sealant, & Plumbing Materials

In most cases, it is when the insulation is falling apart that the fibers are released into the air. That is when they can become inhaled and pose a risk. It is also possible to ingest asbestos, but such cases are quite rare.

What are the Health Risks?

In most instances of mesothelioma, the cause is the inhalation of asbestos fibers over a long period of time. The fibers get stuck in the lungs and cause inflammation and scarring which leads to an aggressive form of cancer known as mesothelioma.

There are few noticeable early symptoms of mesothelioma. And what symptoms do exist such as shortness of breath or coughing are often associated with lesser conditions, at least at first. By the time the more serious symptoms are noticed, the cancer becomes difficult to stop.

How to Remove Asbestos?

Only licensed professionals should attempt to remove asbestos, which can still be found in some structures which date back to the 1970s and before. If the asbestos is still wrapped and in good condition, it does not pose an immediate health risk, but it still must be removed. Once identified, it is best to contact a licensed asbestos removal company. 

Asbestos still represents a threat to those living and working in structures that contain the mineral. If you are not sure if asbestos is in your building, contact Brickley Environmental today.

Contact Brickley Environmental Today

With numerous dangers facing your home or business, calling the professionals at Brickley Environmental is a good place to start. We offer our knowledge and experience along with the tools to detect and remove infestations of various types. The services provided by Brickley Environmental includes the following.

  • Asbestos Abatement
  • Mold Remediation
  • Lead-Based Paint Removal
  • Demolition
  • Hazardous Waste Removal

If you are facing any of these issues, call Brickley Environmental today. Our friendly, courteous staff will take your call and answer your questions, so you can make the best-informed decision about what to do next. At Brickley Environmental, we are here to help you.

Halloween and Trick or Treating Tips for Your Home

Halloween is a time for trick-or-treaters to visit your home. But they may not be the only visitors that you have. This is also a time for those who want to break into your home to take advantage of this unique celebration. Making your home safe for Halloween both for your family and for trick-or-treaters starts with a few helpful tips. 

Have Someone Stay at Home

The best way to dissuade a potential break-in is for you, a member of your family, or a trusted friend to be always in your home. If people see someone inside your home, it greatly lessens the chance that they will decide to break in to steal or vandalize. 

This includes the late afternoon when you may still be at work, but neighbors may not be as suspicious of people walking around your home because it is Halloween. Plan a party or gathering for your home if possible.  

Light Up the Outside

Another way to dissuade potential intrusions while welcoming trick-or-treaters is to light up the outside of your home. Be sure the front porch and much of the front yard is properly lit. This provides a full view of the entrance to your home, so trick-or-treaters can approach safely. 

Plus, it dissuades intruders who might be tempted to break-in. When you add lights with motion sensors to areas of the home that are not normally lit, this only adds to the security of your property. 

Make the Entrance Safe

This means inspecting the areas where trick-or-treaters will approach and stand when visiting your home. Start at the street where visitors might approach and walk up to the front porch. 

The first step is to move any cars parked on the street to your driveway. Statistics show that four times as many children are killed on Halloween being struck by vehicles than on any other night. Walking between parked vehicles to the street lowers the risk. Once you do that, then do the following. 

  • Clear away any tripping hazard
  • Remove all unwanted clutter from the yard.
  • Light up a path where trick-or-treaters should follow. 
  • Secure all rails. 
  • Apply friction tape to the steps.  

A little bit of prevention goes a long way to avoiding accidents. The last thing you want is a trick-or-treater injured because of something you overlooked on your property. 

Avoid Candles When Possible

There are flickering LED lights that make good substitutes for candles, especially inside pumpkins or other enclosed spaces. This avoids a potential fire issue that candles bring which causes millions of dollars’ worth of damage each year to homes across the US. 

Before you purchase any Halloween lights, be sure that they have safety certifications such as UL printed on the label. 

Keep Your Pets Inside

Finally, make your pets a part of your household this Halloween. By keeping them inside, you help keep them calm during this active time. After all, people wandering the streets is not a normal sight. And pets can become quite nervous and unsure during Halloween. 

Instead, have them become part of the celebration inside. Even keeping them in a separate room with soothing music can help lower their stress and yours. 

Call Brickley Environmental today. Our friendly, courteous staff will take your call and answer your questions, so you can make the best-informed decision about what to do next. At Brickley Environmental, we are here to help you.

Recycling After Home Renovations

 

When you see home renovations occur and witness the large amount of demolition being taken away, you might believe that all the waste goes to the landfill. But you may be surprised that a large portion heads to recycling centers. 

But whether you are making improvements to stay in the home for a long time or simply house flipping to get the most out of your investment, there are things you need to know about recycling the demolition waste. 

What Items Can Be Recycled?

The answer is that many of the items being replaced can be recycled. A short list of the items that you can donate to recycling includes the following:

  • Appliances, Bathroom, Kitchen, and Lighting Fixtures, and Cabinets
  • Bricks, Ceiling Tiles, and Carpeting
  • Dimensional Lumber, Doors, and Ductwork
  • Flooring, Insulation, and Landscape 
  • Marble, Metal Frames, and Plywood
  • Paneling, Pipes, and Siding
  • Stone, Tile, and Trim along with Antique Molding
  • Toilets, Windows, Wood Beams & Posts, and More 

There are many basic items and materials that can also be recycled from the waste generated from the remodeling. This includes asphalt, concrete, drywall, metal, wood, window glass, and even dirt and vegetation. 

To Donate, Recycle, or Sell?

There is a difference between recycling used items and donating them. Typically, donated items are those that can still be used by other people with little to no repair needed. While the list of donated items can be large, the most typical for most home renovations include the following:

  • Bathtubs, Toilets, & Sinks
  • Cabinets, Doors, and Windows
  • Working Appliances, Lighting, & Handles 
  • Lumber, Tiles, and Wood Flooring

You can donate these items as part of your home renovation. Plus, any items that are intact and can be used again should be considered for donation purposes. 

If the items are valuable enough and in-demand, you can sell them directly. While you may not get as much as you paid for them originally, it can help reduce the cost of the home renovation. The most obvious online places to sell used items are Craigslist and eBay, but you may find online sites that sell locally for items that may be difficult to ship. 

Keep in mind that if it costs more to sell than to donate, you are better off donating. 

Where to Find Recycling & Donation Centers?

Everything starts with your local resources. Check out what recycling and donation centers are in your community. A few of the national organizations include the following. 

  • Building Materials Reuse Association
  • Construction & Demolition Recycling Association
  • Freecycle Network
  • Habitat for Humanity ReStores 

You can also check with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and your local and state governments for places to recycle or donate such items. 

Whether you engage in home renovations to stay in your residence for the rest of your life or are house flipping a property you just purchased, recycling the demolition and waste is necessary. Not only to protect the environment but to get the most out of your renovation efforts without spoiling the community where you live. 

Contact Brickley Environmental Today 

With numerous dangers facing your home or business, calling the professionals at Brickley Environmental is a good place to start. We offer our knowledge and experience along with the tools to detect and remove infestations of various types. The services provided by Brickley Environmental include the following. 

  • Asbestos Abatement
  • Mold Remediation
  • Lead-Based Paint Removal 
  • Demolition 
  • Hazardous Waste Removal

If you are facing any of these issues, call Brickley Environmental today. Our friendly, courteous staff will take your call and answer your questions, so you can make the best-informed decision about what to do next. At Brickley Environmental, we are here to help you.

 

How Asbestos Exposure Can Cause Cancer

Most companies in the US stopped using asbestos over forty years ago however, materials that contain asbestos are still found in millions of older buildings across the country. Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that contains properties that block heat and dampen the spread of fire. Its fibers can be dangerous to humans when inhaled into the lungs and can potentially lead to cancer in individuals if exposed over a long period of time. 

Since asbestos is found in older buildings and is still used in small amounts in certain appliances and other devices, it is still possible to become exposed to asbestos. 

Where Does Exposure to Asbestos Happen? 

For the most part, exposure to asbestos occurs over a long period of time when working in buildings that have asbestos or generally being exposed to products that contain asbestos. Other possible exposure could occur during a disaster or if you live near a site contaminated with asbestos.

Until the early 1980’s ceiling and floor tiles, drywall, insulation, paint, and even cement contained asbestos. You can find small amounts of asbestos in automotive parts such as clutches, brakes, and other friction-associated materials. So, while the driver of a vehicle is most likely safe from asbestos exposure, a mechanic who works in garages or auto shops is more likely to be exposed. 

How Exposure Can Lead to Cancer

The microscopic fibers of asbestos that float in the air can be inhaled into the lungs or swallowed. The body can get rid of most of the fibers, but many can become permanently stuck. 

When the fibers accumulate over time, the result can be inflammation and damage to the DNA of cells. This can lead to cancers such as mesothelioma and other diseases that include:

  • Laryngeal, Lung, and Ovarian Cancer
  • Diffuse Pleural Thickening, Pleural Effusion, and Pleural Plaque
  • Asbestosis, Atelectasis, and Pleurisy 

Most cancers or diseases caused by exposure to asbestos take decades to develop. For individuals who are exposed to asbestos frequently due to their line of work or constantly being in older buildings can protect themselves to a certain degree by wearing the proper safety equipment. This includes respirator masks. However, the most effective method is to have the potential asbestos removed safely from the site. 

Why Call Brickley Environmental?

If you suspect that your building has asbestos, call the professionals at Brickley Environmental. We have the knowledge, experience, and equipment to identify and remove asbestos from your property. In addition to asbestos removal, Brickley Environmental offers additional services, including the following:

  • Demolition 
  • Hazardous Waste Removal 
  • Lead-Based Paint Removal
  • Mold Remediation

Call the friendly, courteous staff at Brickley Environmental today. We will listen to your needs, answer questions about our services, and provide the services needed to ensure that the asbestos or other unwanted materials are removed. 

For more information about asbestos exposure and how it can cause cancer, click here to visit the National Cancer Institute website.

Asbestos Exposure and Coronavirus

While the coronavirus pandemic continues to cause great concern, especially among the elderly and immunocompromised to catching the virus, many residents who have experienced exposure to asbestos may feel even more at risk.

The advent of COVID-19 only made a vulnerable population even more susceptible and combining asbestos exposure with it only makes things worse.

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that is noted for being fire-resistant. For many decades, asbestos was used in many buildings, factories, plants, and even housing units for its fire-resistant properties. It’s even been used in products containing talc, such as baby and body powders. 

While the first indications of the dangers associated with asbestos arose in the 1920s, it was not until the 1970s that the mineral was banned across the US. Today, there are still many buildings that were built in the 1970s or earlier that contain asbestos.  

Asbestos and Coronavirus

People who have been exposed to asbestos, even if they have not developed mesothelioma or other lung-related issues, are vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19. This is because asbestos in the lungs damages the tissues, making viruses that cause respiratory problems more of a threat. For anyone who may have been exposed to asbestos, it raises the risk of complications caused by COVID-19.  

That makes it even more imperative to hire a professional company to inspect and remove any asbestos in your home or business. 

How Brickley Environmental Can Help

If you suspect that your home or business contains asbestos, call the professionals at Brickley Environmental. Armed with the knowledge, experience, and tools to identify and remove asbestos, Brickley Environmental offers its professional services to businesses and homeowners. 

Call today and the staff at Brickley Environmental will listen to your needs, explain our services, and conduct a proper inspection of your facility, building, or home at your request. Given the dangers of asbestos, it is best to act as soon as possible to protect those who live or work inside. 

For more information on asbestos, click here to visit the EPA website.