Mesothelioma and Asbestos Exposure from Older Homes: Everything You Need to Know

Asbestos Exposure Mesothelioma from Old House

Before 1980, most home construction building supplies contained asbestos, a naturally occurring fibrous silicate material used for its durability and heat-resistant properties for most of the twentieth century.1

However, after researchers discovered asbestos exposure caused cancer and other illnesses (i.e., mesothelioma and asbestosis), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned certain products containing asbestos from 1973 to 1978.2 Items banned included:  

  • Asbestos pipe and block insulation (1975)
  • Asbestos-containing artificial fireplace embers and wall patching compounds (1977)
  • All spray-applied surfacing asbestos-containing material (1978)

If your house was built before 1980, there is a high chance that several places in your home contain asbestos.

Why Asbestos Can Be Dangerous in Your Home

Homes built between 1940 and 1980 should not be renovated without first checking for asbestos-containing materials. Once deteriorated or disturbed, asbestos fibers become an instant threat to you and your family’s health. If inhaled, these microscopic fibers latch onto to the pleura in your lungs, “where they can cause inflammation and scarring.”3 This exposure can damage your cells over time and possibly result in a pleural mesothelioma diagnosis. If swallowed, asbestos fibers “can reach the abdominal lining, where they can have a role in causing peritoneal mesothelioma.3

Common Points of Asbestos Exposure in Older Homes

Asbestos Exposure from House ShinglesIf you own an older house, you should have it professionally inspected so you know where asbestos-containing areas are located. Here is a list of common asbestos-containing materials found in older homes: 

  • Attic insulation (or vermiculite insulation)
  • Corrugated cement roofing
  • Vinyl floor tiling
  • Window glazing and caulking
  • Plasters and siding materials
  • Old appliances (i.e., furnaces, air conditioners, etc.)
  • Heating duct insulation
  • Ceiling tile
  • Hot water and steam pipes
  • Flue pipes
  • Cement, paper, and millboard sheets
  • Textured paint
  • Architectural cement pipe columns
  • Artificial brick cladding
  • Cement tile underlay
  • Bathroom linings
  • Eave linings
  • Old electrical wiring insulation1

5 Steps to Take if Your Home Is Contaminated with Asbestos  

Tips for Asbestos Exposure in House

If your home was built between 1940 and 1980, here are five steps you can take right now to reduce your risk for asbestos exposure:

  1. Contact a qualified asbestos professional in your area.
  2. Avoid working around, repairing, or renovating any areas that may contain asbestos.
  3. Avoid doing anything in the attic.
  4. Avoid sweeping or vacuuming around areas that may contain asbestos.
  5. Avoid scraping, sawing, or sanding any areas that may contain asbestos—and never drill any holes in the walls.1

Recently Diagnosed with Mesothelioma from Exposure to Asbestos-Containing Products? We Can Help

If you or someone you love has been recently diagnosed with mesothelioma, our attorneys at Shannon Law Group, P.C., are ready to help you get the compensation you deserve. Call us today at (312) 578-9501 or toll-free at (886) 881-9980. Please fill out our contact form, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. We offer a free no-obligation consultation.


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