Whether you are a professional roofer, painter or plumber, there is a high chance that you come in contact with toxic substances on a daily basis without even realizing it. Given that such exposures will eventually catch up with you, irrespective of your knowledge, it is quite imperative for professionals in remodeling, construction, roofing, etc. to stay safe and protected against these common health hazards that may or may not come with the job description.
Lead is everywhere around us, just like most other toxic materials. However, none of those toxic materials cross the limit under normal circumstances to reach a concentration where it can be considered as harmful to human beings. Unfortunately, a large number of homes built in and before the year 1978, still have lead paint in them. Then of course, there are lead pipes in old plumbing systems that could still be supplying toxic water to its occupants.
In order to successfully and safely assess, remove and replace lead from these households, every professional working in them should have applicable ZOTApro EPA Lead Certification(s). Not only will the training teach you about the dangers of lead poisoning, but it will also teach you how to deal with the heavy metal safely. Keep in mind that there is a whole range of EPA lead certifications, so choose one or more courses carefully, so that they are directly relevant to your field of work.
Asbestos is even more dangerous than lead and thus requires more training, caution and PPE to stay protected against exposure. Understand that although lead itself can also have very severe consequences on adults as well, it’s the children who suffer the most from lead poisoning. Adult workers who are exposed to lead toxicity often end up carrying the heavy metal back with them to their own homes and consequently, their children.
Mid to long term asbestos exposure, on the other hand, is lethal for everyone. Both asbestosis and asbestos cancer, aka mesothelioma, are incurable and eventually, fatal. EPA Asbestos Certification courses for various professionals are once again the best possible method to know how you can stay safe while working with or close to deadly asbestos fibers. In general, the rule is to never disturb asbestos-laden constructions without appropriate precautions first.
Compared to lead and asbestos, most variants of the fungus are not nearly as dangerous. However, the following factors are what makes certain varieties of mold extremely dangerous:
· Toxic mold varieties look very similar to regular, non-toxic mold species
· Toxic mold and regular mold often grow side-by-side, making it almost impossible to distinguish between the two without professional training
· Even non-toxic mold can cause allergies and aggravate asthma
· Unlike asbestos and lead, mold can grow anywhere anew, as long as it finds enough moisture
· It is deceptively good at hiding behind tiles or walls and inside rotted roofs!
These same warnings apply to you, even if you are not a professional, but a DIY hobbyist. The bottom line is that anyone and everyone who works close to or in construction should always prioritize their safety first, even if the property is not an old one, or the person isn’t a professional.