January 16, 2012

There are a lot of ways to get hurt while working, playing or doing everyday tasks around your home. A simple fall may lead to a concussion; a careless swipe of a cutting knife may damage a finger. Someone painting a room may suffer from fumes in a poorly ventilated room; you may even trip over an electric cord or hose left lying on the ground.
When performing home improvement projects it is easy to focus on your objective. In the back of your mind you're thinking about whether you have sufficient materials, whether something will fit or if it will dry too soon. What will the cleanup require? Will you have any help? For gosh sakes, how long will it take and could it get any hotter?
All those things serve to distract you from an important element of the project: your personal safety. When working with attic insulation, for instance, you have several factors to consider.
The age of the attic insulation - how old is the material? Older material is more likely to possibly contain asbestos. Asbestos must be handled by qualified professionals and cannot be discarded through normal trash disposal methods. Older attic insulation may also contain enough dust, mites or insects to irritate breathing. Wear protective gear over your nose and mouth to prevent inhalation. Also wear long sleeves and pants to keep the material off your skin. Be sure to wash those garments separately from other clothing.
What type of attic insulation is it? As stated above, asbestos is incredibly dangerous - it can cause lung cancer and other diseases. Fiberglass will easily cut your skin and is also dangerous to breathe, so wear gloves when you handle it and wear dust masks to prevent inhalation.