4 Things You Need to Know about Asbestosis

Renovating and reselling old houses has become popular in recent years thanks to the number of house-flipping shows on television, but unfortunately, this hobby can give you a lot more than just some extra cash. If the home you're flipping was built before the late 1970s, it could contain asbestos, a carcinogenic mineral that was once a widely used building mineral. Exposure to asbestos can lead to a variety of serious lung conditions, including asbestosis. Here's what you need to know about it. 

What is asbestosis?

Asbestosis is a lung disease that develops after you inhale asbestos fibers. Asbestos fibers can be stirred up into the air when you knock down walls, rip up floorboards, tear out insulation, or do other renovation projects. The exposure to these fibers makes scar tissue develop on the inside of your lungs, and this scar tissue makes it harder for your lungs to absorb oxygen. This makes it harder for you to breathe; people with asbestosis also have a persistent cough and chest pain. 

How long does asbestosis take to develop?

This disease takes a very long time to develop, so it's easy to be lulled into a false sense of security about your house-flipping hobby. It can take anywhere between 10 and 20 years for the first symptoms to show up, and by that time, you may not even remember doing the renovation that exposed you to asbestos.

Is asbestosis treatable?

Asbestosis is irreversible, so once you've developed it, you've got it for life. However, there are some treatments available that can slow down the disease's progression and make you more comfortable. Your doctor may give you an inhaler or tell you to use a humidifier. Medications like aspirin and antibiotics may also be prescribed. If noninvasive treatments don't work, you may need to have surgery to remove your scar tissue.

How can you protect yourself from asbestosis?

You don't need to stop renovating houses, but you do need to change your behaviors. Before you buy a house, have it inspected for asbestos. If asbestos is found, you can have it safely removed by a contractor that specializes in safely removing asbestos. Once the asbestos has been removed, you can start your renovation, and both you and your crew will be safe. You can also assure your buyers that their new home is asbestos-free. 

Asbestos used to be a popular building material and it's still found in older homes. Before you start any renovations, have the home inspected for asbestos to keep yourself safe.Visit websites like http://www.arguspacific.com to find asbestos inspectors.