The article below focuses on asbestos and was sent to me by Paul James from the Mesothelioma Cancer Center. As a Tucson Realtor and an EcoBroker, I felt this should be on MyGreenTucson.com. If you would like to contact Paul, I have provided an email link below the article. Thanks Paul for all you’re doing.
Tucson Residents Utilize Green Home Alternatives to Asbestos
Located on the southwestern part of the United States, Arizona is known for its beautiful scenery, national parks and tropical weather. The state provides a great environment for active lifestyles and is regarded as one of the top states to call home. Tucson_GREEN_house_ecobroker_insulation
In Tucson, construction practices are upgrading methods to suit better lighting, heating, cooling systems and environmentally habitable insulation. Environmental efficiency is on the rise because of technology and green sustainable methods progressing rapidly. Not only will these methods produce a healthier lifestyle, it will save you money!
Asbestos in Homes
A naturally-occurring mineral, asbestos was used in the 20th century in many applications such as insulation, piping, brake lining and flooring. Asbestos made its name because of its resistance to fire and heat properties. Improper insulation was used in millions of homes and while it is safe when enclosed or in good condition, deteriorated asbestos can cause a slew of health problems, such as mesothelioma.
There are a number of factors that can impact mesothelioma survival rate. These factors include latency period, age of diagnosis and cigarette smoking. This shouldn’t make you jump out of your seat because asbestos exposure is easily prevented by taking simple precautions.
Many homes, buildings and public facilities built prior to 1980 may still contain asbestos and other hazardous materials. If any asbestos is suspected in the home, the best thing to do is leave it un-disturbed until a home inspector can determine the best course of action. Disturbing asbestos in good condition may cause its fibers to be released into the air. The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality is committed to protecting the public from asbestos-containing materials by educating and assisting with asbestos removal, transport and disposal.
Recently, congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act into law. Included in this act were extensions to the tax incentives placed for energy efficiency in 2005, as well as new credits for homeowners who remodel or build using eco-sustainable methods. Existing homes are eligible for a series of efficiency measures that pertain to the home shell (Insulation, Windows, Sealing) worth 30% of the installed cost (materials only, labor is not included in the credit basis).
Green options such as cotton fiber, cellulose and lcynene should be given consideration as replacements to asbestos. Not only will eco-friendly materials provide a healthy atmosphere, it can significantly reduce energy costs. Cotton fiber is made from recycled batted material and treated to be fireproof. A water based spray polyurethane foam, lcynene features no toxic components.
Living in a world where environmental sustainability is a vital concern to the future of mankind, it is important to take note of the consequences of improper building materials and environmental degradation. While there is no longer a need for products used in construction to contain asbestos, more than 3,000 work and home-based materials still contain this toxin.
As citizens of Earth, we are obligated to nurture and sustain this planet. Green home modifications will help save on energy costs and provide tax credits, but some of them may even be better for your health.