Spending on Remodeling Will Rise 9.2 Percent and Lead to an Increase in Exposure to Asbestos in the First Quarter of 2011

Mar 11, 2011, 09:22 ET from MesotheliomaLegalBlog.com

RED BANK, N.J., March 11, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- According to Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies, "spending on remodeling probably will rise 9.2 percent to $125.1 billion in the first quarter from $114.6 billion a year earlier."  According to Bloomberg, "a 13 percent increase forecast for April through June would be the largest jump in five years, referring to a report by the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based center."

Attorney Chris Placitella, partner at the law firm of Cohen, Placitella & Roth, P.C., is concerned that "as home improvements rise, unknowingly, the majority of Americans will continue to be exposed to asbestos, even in their own homes.  People need to be careful renovating older homes."

According to the MesotheliomaLegalBlog.com, asbestos on piping and boiler components has been the focus in the past.  Today, a much more dangerous and insidious source of asbestos exposure, is that which results from demolition or altering the drywall board panels that are omnipresent throughout the United States.  From the early 1960s through 1977, a substantial percentage of walls and ceilings constructed in homes and offices used asbestos containing joint compound to fill the seams or joints between wall board panels.  In 1977, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) once and for all outlawed the use of asbestos in spackle and joint compound.  The CPSC said "inhalable asbestos in the household from consumer patching compounds...presents a great risk due to the presence in the household of persons, such as children, who may be particularly vulnerable to carcinogens."  Even after the ban was announced, companies manufacturing the spackle or joint compound decided to sell off their remaining product rather than recall it from the shelves of stores and safely handle the disposing of it.  However, no effort was made to deal with the exposures that would occur as a result of asbestos already installed.  The quantity of asbestos in residential homes constructed with drywall "jointed" with asbestos containing spackle or joint compound during the twenty years is incalculable.  Every time a wall is demolished or altered, asbestos fibers released from this activity will contaminate the residence.  This contamination will likely produce numerous accounts of mesothelioma well into this century.

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SOURCE MesotheliomaLegalBlog.com