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Avoiding Hazards When Renovating Your Bathroom

By Anne Mehla
DIY projects for renovations and remodeling are pretty common these days. This could mostly be because of the fact that they are much more rewarding, save money and are fun to do. However, when you undertake a DIY project to renovate your bathroom, there are certain hazards that you should avoid. Following are a few bathroom renovating hazards –
Asbestos – Asbestos removal should be on top of your list before you go ahead with your renovation project. Asbestos is durable and heat resistant, which is why many old homes use it in the flooring and roofing materials. It is also used in insulation. The tiny asbestos fibers can enter your lungs and cause diseases like Asbestosis and Mesothelioma cancer. They also affect the lungs by causing scarring and lung tissue weakness. If you find out that there is asbestos in your bathroom walls or ceiling, make sure asbestos removal is your first step.
Lead – Lead is found in paint that is used houses built before 1978. It can easily spread from your house into the soil nearby and be hazardous to your kids and pets. If exposed to it, some common symptoms include headache, constipation, nausea and fatigue. Thus, it should be removed before starting the remodeling project. 
Mercury – Mercury is often found in thermostats and heating systems of old homes and is pretty toxic in nature. Even a little exposure to Mercury can be harmful and can cause liver damage and learning disabilities. In large quantities, Mercury can even be fatal. 
PCBs – PCBs (Polychlorinated Biphenyls) are certain chemicals that are found in electronic equipment and paints used before 1977. PCB exposure can be extremely damaging to the nervous system, immune system and is also known to cause cancer. PCB removal is very important before your renovation project starts. 
Formaldehyde – This is an industrial chemical and is often found in plywood materials, insulation and particle boards. If a person gets exposed to Formaldehyde in high quantities, it could cause coughing, burning in nose, throat and eyes and also, nausea. The long term effects of this industrial chemical are not much known, but it is best to practice precaution. 
Molds – A type of fungi, molds grow everywhere and anywhere when conditions are right. One of the biggest targets for mold growth is a dark moist place like the bathroom. Though most types of molds are not life-threatening for healthy individuals, for those who have a weak immunity, which include those who suffer from asthma, the elderly and the babies, bathroom molds are a waking nightmare. When exposed to black molds, a person may suffer from dizziness, coughing, irritability, depression, lung infections, sinusitis, seizure, skin rashes, body aches, flu-like symptoms, and other serious respiratory problems.
Always get your bathroom tested for any of these toxic substances before you start your remodeling project. To be safe, wear protective mask to cover your mouth and nose when you are working. Use protective gloves as well because you can never be too safe.

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