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SPECIFIC ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS

Air Pollution

People are exposed to many different types of air pollutants in the outside air depending on their location, time of year, weather conditions, and various environmental factors. They have an existing body burden of pollutants and when they enter their various residences they are exposed to a series of indoor air pollutants which increase their opportunity for disease. See Chapter 2, “Air Quality (Outdoor [Ambient] and Indoor)” for further details of air pollutant problems and potential health effects as well as Best Practices to follow to help reduce the problems.

Asbestos (See endnote 36)

Asbestos is a group of naturally occurring silicate compounds found in the environment in bundles of fibers. Human exposure to the fibers when disturbed can result in asbestosis, non-malignant lung and pleural disorders, lung cancer, mesothelioma, and other cancers. Smokers are at greater risk of lung cancer when exposed to the disturbed fibers. Remodeling an older home containing asbestos products can result in disruption of the fibers and inhalation of them. Also crumbling drywall, insulation, certain roofing materials, textured paint and patching compounds, some vinyl floor tiles, hot water and steam pipe coverings, stovetop pads, and other materials containing asbestos can release the fibers to the air.

Best Practices in Preventing Asbestos Related Problems

  • • Do not disrupt intact non-damaged building materials containing asbestos fibers. Covering them appropriately will contain them.
  • • Do not saw, sand, scrape or drill holes in asbestos-containing materials and do not dust, sweep or vacuum any debris that contains asbestos.
  • • If asbestos problems do exist, use only licensed professionals to make the necessary inspections, removal if necessary and sealing of the surfaces where needed.
 
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