Healthy Lung Month: Time to Care for Your Lungs
Every October, Healthy Lung Month aims to increase awareness of lung diseases and emphasize the importance of having healthy lungs. According to the American Lung Association, about 37 million Americans live with chronic lung disease, so it's wise to take the opportunity and concentrate on keeping the lungs healthy. We tend to think about our breathing only when we encounter issues.
One of the risk factors causing non-cancerous and cancerous lung diseases is asbestos exposure. When you know how to handle it, asbestos is relatively safe, so make sure you use our DIY removal methods and don't expose yourself to the fibers. The buildings built between 1920 and 1980 potentially have some form of asbestos you can find in many construction products from the basement to the attic:
- floor tiles
- ceiling tiles
- furnace cement
- pipe lagging
- heating ducts
- window putty
- roof tiles
How to Avert The Harmful Effects of Asbestos on Lung Health
Asbestos isn't dangerous when encased in a product but is a threat when it becomes airborne in its fiber form. When inhaled, the microscopic fibers can reach the lungs and start irritating their tissues, causing a series of conditions the body cannot overcome because it lacks the defense mechanism against the tiny asbestos particles. Asbestos-related diseases have decades-long latency periods and have symptoms that could easily pass as signs of not as life-threatening illnesses.
Prevention is the most effective way to avoid exposing yourself and your family to asbestos. Keeping an eye on some simple steps that ensure safety can give a great piece of mind. Here are just a few things recommended for healthy respiratory habits this Healthy Lung Month:
- Identify all possible asbestos sources in your home - you can do it yourself with the help of our guide or ask about a professional assessment from an authorized firm.
- Be mindful when renovating - disturbing asbestos-containing products by cutting, sawing, drilling, or scraping can result in asbestos dust and the danger of inhaling the fibers.
- Watch out for bakelite when collecting vintage items - make sure they are not worn or broken.
- Purchase HEPA air purifiers - they can minimize asbestos exposure in your home and ensure breathing clear air.
- Keep air filters clean in your home - neglected and stuffed air filters can't clean the air from indoor or outdoor pollutants.
- Wear appropriate gear when working with products that contain dangerous materials.
Small Steps to Care and Protect for Your Lungs
By reducing the chances of encountering risk factors that could cause various lung conditions, we take care of our lungs so they can take care of us. Healthy lungs and proper breathing are the guarantees of living a long and healthy life. How we keep our indoors clean affects the very quality of the air we breathe in our homes, so it's always a good idea to consider some tips for decreasing indoor pollutants:
- Make your home a smoking-free zone.
- Dust the furniture and vacuum it weekly.
- Open windows frequently to increase indoor air circulation.
- Be careful with synthetic air fresheners and candles that can expose you to additional chemicals like formaldehyde and benzene.
- Use an aromatherapy diffuser and essential oils to scent the air instead of the traditional air sprays.
- Avoid mold, dust, and pet dander.
- Ensure you have proper fans, exhaust hoods, and other ventilation methods.
Take Care of Your Lung Health by Keeping an Eye on Asbestos
If you suspect a material contains asbestos, check it regularly and look for tears or signs of erosion. The damaged material could release asbestos fibers if disturbed by handling, hitting, rubbing, extreme vibration, or exposure to airflow. If you find damaged material in your home, limit access to the area and do not touch or disturb it.
Contact a licensed firm if you wish to remove or repair asbestos-containing goods from your home. Should you decide to handle the asbestos products yourself, we recommend reading our page to guide you on safely removing or repairing the asbestos-containing materials.