The issue of environmental pollutants is a very serious one. As our civilization made progress in numerous fields, the adverse effect on our environment become more and more severe. The thing is, though, while most of us are aware of it and how to play our part in decreasing pollution and protecting ourselves from it, unexpected environmental pollutants can still have serious consequences.
The consequences that can not only change the lives of people affected by it, but also of the parties that are responsible for causing it. This is why we have decided to put together a list of three unexpected environmental pollutants and give you advice on how to protect yourself from them.
Mold is really one of the nastiest pollutants out there. The problem is that it can be in your apartment or house without you even noticing it. Nevertheless, it can seriously affect human health. It is known to cause problems with breathing, skin and eye irritation, coughing, wheezing and very often throat irritation and nasal stuffiness. Common mold’s cousin, black mold, can be far more unhealthy than even dangerous or defective products.
Severe cases of mold can also jeopardize a building’s structure. For the landlords, mold can mean poor financial standing and bad reputation as well. This can cause owners to end up with significantly less tenants and possible building personnel lawsuits.
How to protect yourself: Removing mold from your house can turn into a daunting task if you don’t know what you are doing. The first thing on your list is to eliminate moisture. Since mold flourishes in humid and warm areas, you have to keep your house as dry as possible.
If there are visible traces of mold in your estate, use cleaning solutions to remove it. Bleach and vinegar are both great and effective solutions that you can use on moldy surfaces. Be advised though, don’t use these on porous materials such as wood and drywall or you will risk damaging them.
For the building and apartment owners, things can get slightly more complicated, as they may face serious charges if the mold affects their tenants and personnel in any way. In such cases, its best that you consult an environmental insurance broker, for this is a very serious matter.
Asbestos is the material that was very commonly used by builders at the end of the 19th and during the first half of the 20th century. Back in those times, very little was known about its side effects, and since it was highly fire resistant, and above all, incredibly cheap, constructors put it everywhere. You can find it in drywall joint compound, insulation around pipes, ceiling tiles, caulking, around electrical wiring and in drywall.
During the second half of the 20th century, there were many concerns regarding the effect asbestos has on human health. After the studies confirmed that asbestos is an environmental pollutant, it was almost completely banned in the entire construction industry. However, today it is still present in traces in some insulation materials, wood burning stoves, concrete water tanks, etc.
The most severe consequences of being exposed to asbestos have been recorded in workers that have spent time inhaling and swallowing asbestos fibers at asbestos abatement job sites. Some of the conditions include asbestosis, lung cancer, along with severe pleural, laryngeal and weakened immune system.
How to protect yourself: If you live in an old building and you are concerned about being exposed to asbestos, make sure to hire a professional to assess your household. On the other hand, if you are an asbestos abatement contractor, you should consider insurance, as you may face some of the following claims down the line – clean-up costs, property damage and bodily injury.
Sulfur dioxide is a very dangerous gas commonly found in the air surrounding heavily industrialized zones. It not only affects the people working in factories but also the people living in the surrounding neighbourhoods. The main sources of sulfur dioxide are burning of fossil fuels, metal extraction from ores, and any other process that burns a fuel that contains a high concentration of sulfur.
Sulfur dioxide affects the human respiratory system, making breathing difficult. People with asthma are particularly affected by it, because they are already sensitive to air pollution.
How to protect yourself: Many governments around the globe have certain sulfur dioxide standards in place to protect both the environment and people’s health. If you live in an industrialized zone make sure to stay tuned to the news and respect any issued notices.
On the other hand if you own a business or manage a plant where your employees may be exposed to a higher concentration of sulfur dioxide, make sure to provide proper protective equipment if you don’t want to end up liable to contractors pollution liability policies.
Unexpected environmental pollutants can cause serious effects on human health, as well as on the environment. Make sure to do all that is in the domain of your responsibility and abide by the law in order to protect yourself, those around you and the planet we live on.