Green Construction, Healthy Inside & Out: Eco Insulation Alternatives from Asbestos.com

September 24, 2009 at 9:50 pm

Paul James

September 26th is National Mesothelioma Awareness Day and we at Asbestos.com are trying to raise awareness as much as possible.   The support we have received from eco bloggers, Realtors, and other organizations has been absolutely tremendous.   As you may know, homes built before 1980 likely have asbestos insulation in them.   When homeowners remodel, they may expose themselves to asbestos, which could lead to a fatal cancer known as mesothelioma.   There are many environmentally sustainable, healthy and GREEN ways to insulate your home and this is among the topics we’d like to discuss.

Eco alternative materials are available, inside your home and out!

With a growing amount of education and technology in eco-sustainable resources, many cities and states are leading the way towards a green paradigm of building and construction.   Environmental efficiency is on the rise because of technology and green building methods progressing rapidly.     Not only will these methods produce a healthier lifestyle, it will save you money.

We’re all aware of the benefits of utilizing environmentally sustainable green roofs, including: improvement of the urban heat island effect and even reduction of annual energy usage and costs.   And studies have shown that a green roof’s ability to retain water can greatly aid in an environment’s stormwater management policy because less water is released back into a city’s already overburdened sewer infrastructure, and that which does runs off  slower,  cooler, and cleaner.

The implementation of eco-construction and green energy solutions will play an important role in the transformation to a healthier and sustainable world.   We can all agree that green construction is healthy for a building’s occupants all around, from top to bottom and in-between.

Asbestos Info & Tips

Used throughout the 20th century as a form of insulation for piping, roofing, and flooring, asbestos’ flame resistant and highly durable qualities made it an ideal choice for manufacturers, before we knew of the potential hazards.   Many older homes built prior to 1980 may still harvest obsolete and corrosive building materials which can create health concerns.

If any asbestos is located in your home, the best thing to do is leave it un-disturbed until a home inspector can determine the best course of action.   In many situations, the best action is no action.   Asbestos that is disturbed or damaged due to age is known as “friable“ asbestos.   This is a concern because its toxic fibers can easily circulate and become inhaled.   The removal of asbestos from specified locations must be undertaken by abatement contractors who are licensed in their corresponding states.

Although asbestos exposure does not always lead a related illness, long term inhalation of its fibers can cause a rare but severe ailment known as mesothelioma.   Due to the fact many mesothelioma symptoms are similar to less serious ailments, diagnosis is one of the more difficult tasks physicians encounter.

Asbestos.com Lung Diagram

Recently, congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.   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.   Some of the measures that are eligible for tax credits include added insulation to walls, ceilings, or other part of the building envelope that meets the 2009 IECC specifications, sealing cracks in the building shell and ducts to reduce heat loss.   Storm doors paired with U-factored rated wood doors are also eligible.

Asbestos products from Asbestos.comThere are many green, eco-friendly materials that replace the need for asbestos and can reduce energy costs annually.   There is no need for any products used in construction to be made from asbestos, yet over 3,000 work and home-based materials still contain this toxin.

Green alternatives to asbestos include the use of cotton fiber, lcynene ® foam and cellulose.  These green options have the same beneficial qualities as asbestos, minus the health deteriorating and toxic components. Icynene ® Insulation Products

In this time of global awareness accumulating rapidly, implementing eco-friendly forms of building and construction is becoming a must for homeowners.   Many locations throughout the United States and beyond are swiftly changing their construction practices to suit both the environment and the health of human beings, inside and out.

~ Paul James, Awareness Coordinator at the Mesothelioma Cancer Center, www.asbestos.com, paul@asbestos.com.

Asbestos.com is committed to providing the latest, up-to-date information to our visitors in the hopes of spreading awareness about the dangers of asbestos cancer. This website offers a one-stop resource on all asbestos issues ranging from occupational exposure to mesothelioma treatment options. As the leading asbestos and mesothelioma resource, Asbestos.com offers more than 3,000 pages of the most comprehensive and cutting edge information on the web.

For additional info, please contact Paul or Ben Grayson, National Awareness Coordinator, Mesothelioma Center at:   407.965.5755.