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Prevent Asbestos in Montana Homes; Replace Asbestos with Green Alternatives

Photo Taunya Fagan Bozeman real estateOne of the many points to consider when searching for an older home is whether or not the building has asbestos contamination, something many buyers overlook. Asbestos is the name of a group of naturally occurring minerals, manifesting themselves in the form of masses of strong, flexible fibers separated into thin threads, which are then woven for industrial and construction products.

Asbestos was used heavily during the 20th century in construction as an insulation application for pipes, roofs, and floors. Because findings indicate asbestos exposure can be a health danger, asbestos awareness has increased and mitigation protocols continue improving. Data indicate many states have experienced a decline in asbestos levels.

Even though Montana is primarily a sparsely populated, rural state, Montana has experienced a high level of asbestos-related deaths. In the 1920's Asbestos mining began at the Libby mine in Libby, Montana. The mine progressed into the world's largest exporter of asbestos-contaminated vermiculite, used in industrial and construction trades. Homes and buildings built prior to 1980 may contain asbestos.

All Montana home buyers, or those planning to remodel older Montana homes, need to be aware that asbestos exposure may lead to health problems. Today, Green insulation options are available to replace asbestos insulation.

Inhaling asbestos fibers over a period of time may cause asbestosis, a noncancerous, chronic lung ailment, or even the severe lung cancer, malignant mesothelioma; treatment is limited and the condition produces chronic respiratory problems. Research indicates mesothelioma can develop slowly, taking 20 to 50 years to manifest. Consequently, mesothelioma is often difficult to detect.

Prudence dictates a professional inspector examine a property for asbestos and other potentiallyy hazardous materials. Asbestos remediation in the workplace, public facilities, and homes must be performed by a licensed abatement contractor. Asbestos professionals are trained in handling asbestos materials. The type of professional for your needs will depend on the type of product detected and the remediation process necessary to remedy the situation.

All asbestos is not necessarily harmful. If you suspect your worksite or home contains asbestos, professionals advise leaving it alone; disturbing it could release fibers into the site's atmosphere, creating a serious health risk.

Once remediation is completed, a builder may want to consider green insulation alternatives, including recycled paper, cotton fiber, denim, lcynene foam, cellulose, hemp, or even mushroom spore insulation.

According to the United Nations Environmental Program, the application of recycled building materials like cotton fiber insulation can lower annual energy consumption by 25 percent.

Eco-friendly data like this has caught the eye of those previously unaware of the availablity of environmentally sustainable, safe construction materials and practices. Not only do asbestos alternatives reduce energy costs, asbestos alternatives promote healthy work and living environments and are an effort to lower the overall exposure to adverse environmental conditions.

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2 commentsTaunya Fagan • February 19 2009 10:36PM
Prevent Asbestos in Montana Homes; Replace Asbestos with Green…
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One of the many points to consider when searching for an older home is whether or not the building has asbestos contamination, something many buyers overlook. Asbestos is the name of a group of naturally occurring minerals, manifesting themselves… more