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.

Tips for Spring Cleaning Your Home

With the warmer weather arriving, this is the time of year when many homeowners engage in spring cleaning. However, to properly remove the dust, debris, and unwanted materials from your home requires the use of safe cleaning products, recycling, and a plan to get it done.

Here are some of the best tips and tricks to prepare for spring cleaning, the safest products to use, and the most eco-friendly way to recycle and rid your home of trash.

Create a Checklist

Before you begin, walk around your home, and write down all the places that need to be cleaned up. A checklist will help you get organized, understand which products to purchase, and help ensure that you do not miss any areas when you embark on your cleaning efforts. You can clean your home faster when you do the tasks in the proper order to reduce your cleaning time.

  • Remove All Trash
  • Recycle Unwanted Items
  • Organize Remaining Items
  • Dust & Clean Tables, Appliances, & Countertops
  • Clean Windows
  • Vacuum & Clean the Floors

You clean less when you remove what is not needed in your home. By working from the top down, you can clean your home more efficiently without having to go back and clean again.

Use Safe Cleaning Products

You will want to purchase cleaning products that have no harsh chemicals or create them using natural sources. A few of the better cleaning products you can purchase include the following.

  • Safely Universal Cleaner: Coconut oil and mineral salt.
  • Supernatural Starter Set: Glass spray bottles and essential oils.
  • AspenClean SuperScrub: Plant-based ingredients.
  • Blueland Concentrated Cleaner Kit: All natural ingredients.

If you want to create your own cleaning products, start with the basics such as vinegar and water mixed in spray bottles. Rubbing alcohol can be mixed with vinegar and distilled water which can clean windows. Baking soda is not only inexpensive, but highly effective at removing odors and cleaning carpets. You can mix in essential oils such as lavender to give your home a pleasing scent.

Helpful Tips

Here are a few tips that will help you clean your home even faster and more efficiently.

  • Check & Replace Batteries in Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
  • Put All Items Not Regularly Used into Storage
  • Power Wash Home Exterior
  • Throw Away All Old & Expired Products

The process is to declutter first, then store items not regularly used so you can create more space, then start cleaning. Be sure to clean from the top to the bottom which means ceiling and walls first, followed by furniture and windows, then the floors.

Proper spring cleaning starts with planning. Using safe cleaning products and proper recycling will leave your home free of unwanted pollutants and help the environment too!

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.

Steps to Make Your Home More Environmentally Friendly in 2024

Now that it is 2024, now is the time for you to create a more environmentally friendly home. By doing your share in improving the energy efficiency of your residence, you can also help to improve the environment as well. What follows are a few steps you can take to ensure that your home is ready for 2024 and beyond. 

Start with a Home Energy Audit

You can hire a professional to perform an energy audit of your home. Such audits may cost as little as $100, but the information they reveal may save you far more. Energy audits focus on areas such as the following. 

  • Air Leakage
  • Insulation Levels
  • Electric Bills
  • Lighting, Heating, & Air Conditioning
  • Fireplace, Smoke Detectors, & More

By knowing where your home needs improvements, you can start saving by addressing such areas immediately. Plus, a new provision that is part of the Inflation Reduction Act covers 30% of the cost of an energy audit, so take advantage today. 

Think Transportation

You can start by looking at your daily commute and places that you need to go. By identifying where you can save money, you can also look to protect the environment. 

  • Carpooling
  • Investing in Electric Vehicles 
  • Public Transportation 
  • Walk or Bike When Possible 

By investing in one or more of these approaches, you can do your part to protect the environment and save on your bills. 

Automate the Thermostat

By installing a smart thermostat, you no longer need to worry about turning up or turning down the temperature when the seasons change. By regulating the temperature inside your home automatically, you can save considerably on your energy bills. 

You can extend this benefit to automated appliances which can reduce inefficient energy usage and save you even more money.  

Bolster Your Landscaping

If your lawn requires lots of water, you should consider switching over at least part of your landscape to native vegetation, gravel, turf, and other materials that use either less water or no water at all. In addition, if you have the room, you can start your own garden and reap the benefits of home-grown food sources. 

And, if you want to save time and effort in maintaining your lawn, consider adding artificial turf, decorative gravel, or permeable pavers. Permeable pavers are made from rock, but allow the moisture to seep into the ground which protects the aquifers running underground. 

Look at Your Floor Plan 

One way to save on energy bills is to maximize the natural sunlight coming into your home. Identify areas that receive the most sunshine, so you can reduce energy consumption. By moving areas such as your home office, breakfast nook, and other places that have more sunlight, you can reduce energy consumption by turning off unnecessary lights. 

Creating an environmentally friendly home starts with evaluating where improvements can be made in terms of energy efficiency. Not only with the improvements you make for 2024 help the environment, but they can also protect your pocketbook as well. 

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.