Friday, June 24, 2016

Renovation Risks: Asbestos The Ticking Time Bomb

First things first lets get the facts straight there is no such thing as safe asbestos! Some people would have you believe that so-called white asbestos won’t kill you, and instead it’s the nasty brown and blue asbestos that will. It’s not true. While white asbestos may be slightly less nasty than the brown and blue stuff, it will cause just the same cancers if it is inhaled. Once you've been exposed to asbestos it acts like a ticking time bomb in your chest. Here is one such person's story:

"My name is Katherine Keys and I have been fighting mesothelioma cancer for the past 9 years. If you don’t know, mesothelioma is a cancer caused by asbestos exposure. My exposure came from doing years of wiring work for Texas Power and Light Company.
At the age of 49 I was diagnosed with Stage 1 Pleural Mesothelioma and was told I had less than two years to live. But I was determined to stay positive and beat this cancer against all odds! My treatment included having my right lung and the lining of the lung removed--a major surgical procedure. Soon after, I began several months of radiation therapy.
I am overjoyed to say that my fight paid off and now 9 years later I am still cancer free! But I know I did not face this battle alone. The doctors and staff at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center are true miracle workers and I am forever grateful to them.

I was also helped greatly by the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma Lawyer Center. Not only did they help me obtain financial compensation which helped with my treatments and quality of life, they genuinely care about my well-being. I am proud to call them my friends and they continue to stand by my side as I fight mesothelioma.

Tragically, many men and women who are deemed "expendable" by asbestos companies do not even know about their legal options. These legal options available to asbestos victims are of the utmost importance, so that victims and their families can pay for medical expenses and receive compensation for the pain and suffering they endure.

I feel it is my duty to give back to the community--to let people with asbestos diseases know they are not alone. There is help available!"  - Katherine Keys
So what is asbestos exactly? It's a naturally occurring fibrous material that was a popular building material from the 1950s to 1990s. It was used extensively because it is an insulator, has good fire protection properties, has tensile strength, and is resistant to chemical erosion. Asbestos is "wonderful stuff" from a construction perspective and many homes built before 1980 contain asbestos in old floor tiles, ceiling tiles, roof shingles and flashing, siding, insulation (around boilers, ducts, pipes, sheeting, fireplaces), pipe cement, and joint compound used on seams between pieces of drywall. Even some newer houses may contain asbestos. For more info on where to find asbestos in your home follow this link Is-Asbestos-Lurking-In-Your-Home?

OK so you think there may be asbestos in your home, don’t panic! Generally, asbestos-containing material that is in good condition will not release asbestos fibers. Asbestos-containing materials release fibers that can be inhaled when they are disturbed, damaged, removed improperly, repaired, cut, torn, sanded, sawed, drilled or scraped. Keep an eye on possible asbestos-containing materials and visually check them over time for signs of wear or damage. If you do decide to remodel or conduct repairs an area of you home that may have asbestos get it tested first! There are asbestos test kits available at your local hardware store always be safe and know what your working with. If your asbestos test comes back positive consider hiring a certified professional to do the work and don't put you or your family at risk!

If you liked this don't forget to subscribe to our blog and read more at the EZ Strip Blog We share because we care about our customers! That's why all EZ Strip removal products work wet for safe dust free removal every time! Our water based world patented removal technology penetrates coatings and breaks the bond to the substrate without a chemical reaction. This prevents toxic fumes being released into the air and the wet work system keeps coatings encapsulated so no dust is released during removal. Visit our website at today and see what EZ Strip removal products can do for you!

Friday, June 10, 2016

Paint Stripping Hazards: A Closer Look At The Silent Killer Methylene Chloride

Methylene Chloride is a common solvent and degreaser widely used in industry and consumer products, such as paint strippers and aerosols. It has caused acute poisonings resulting in death and is considered a workplace carcinogen. Despite serious health hazards and the availability of cost-effective safer alternatives, high concentrations of MC are still used in workplaces and in consumer products. Numerous poisonings and deaths have been reported over several decades among workers and consumers using furniture strippers or other products containing MC in unventilated areas. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Household Products Database lists 27 consumer products containing MC, most common are paint strippers with concentrations greater than 50 percent. Methylene Chloride has been banned from paint strippers (paint or graffiti removers) in the EU. Despite widespread recognition of harm, MC is still Not Adequately Regulated for consumer use in North America. For more info on current US regulations regarding Methylene Chloride follow: 

MC based paint strippers are an EXTREME hazard. Thirteen bathtub refinishers from ten states have died (2000- 2011) after inhaling toxic Methylene Chloride while stripping residential tubs. Ten different stripping products, containing 60 to 100% MC, were associated with the deaths. In each case, ventilation and respiratory protection were absent or inadequate. MC vapor is absorbed quickly by the lungs at low concentrations that you cannot smell. Filter and respirator cartridges don’t protect you from MC vapor. Instead, you need a full-face supplied air respirator. For more info on bathtub refinisher deaths follow:

Part of the problem is there really is no safe way for consumers to use these products without extensive safety equipment. The safety equipment needed to properly protect yourself is expensive and often not even all available in the same place you buy the stripper. Here is what's required based off of Safety Data Sheet info for Methylene Chloride Personal Protective Equipment:  
Gloves and Clothing -  Avoid skin contact with Methylene Chloride. Wear personal protective equipment made from material which cannot be permeated or degraded by this substance. Safety equipment manufacturers recommend Polyvinyl Alcohol and Silver Shield/4H for gloves and Tychem Responder and TK; Zytron 500; ONESuit TEC; and Trellchem HPS and VPS, or the equivalent, as protective materials for clothing. Eye Protection - Wear chemical safety goggles and/or a full face shield where splashing is possible. Maintain a proper working eyewash station near work area. Respiratory Protection -  Where the potential exists for exposure over 25 ppm, use a NIOSH approved supplied-air respirator with a full face piece operated in a pressure-demand or other positive-pressure mode. For increased protection use in combination with an auxiliary self-contained breathing apparatus operated in a pressure-demand or other positive-pressure mode. 

Not only is this information confusing but it is so critical to ensure your safety! So when I say there really is no practical safe way for consumers to use Methylene Chloride based products I mean just that. And to make matters worse the confusion doesn't stop there depending on the product Methylene Chloride could be hiding under a different name as it is also known as Dichloromethane, Methylene dichloride, and DCM.

So what's my recommendation when stripping paint? Don't use Methylene Chloride base strippers ever! There is no reason to with so many safer choices. At the top of that safer choice list you will find Dimethyl Esters (also known as Dibasic Esters, DBE, and DMEs*) which are readily biodegradable, low odor, low VOC solvents used in a wide variety of industrial and specialty applications. DBEs are excellent solvent substitutes in many stripping applications. Commercial acceptance and use of dimethyl esters and dibasic esters continues to increase due to their positive economic, environmental and performance characteristics. For more info on DBEs follow: The number one line of stripping products using these DBEs is a Canadian company called EZ Strip you may have seen them in the paint stripper aisle at your local Home Depot or seen them in action removing a large variety of materials from various substrates on You Tube check out the EZ Strip You Tube Channel here And the answer to the big question is yes they work amazingly with skin safe formulas and no harsh fumes. The next time you want to remove, refinish, or restore think twice about what you want to expose yourself and your family to. EZ Strip can solve your paint stripping problems without the toxic hazards or need for expensive protective equipment. Work indoors or in tight spaces were ventilation is just not possible! Make your next removal project a successful and safe one! 

Visit the EZ Strip website for great detailed removal tips and project ideas today!