Does HEPA Filters Remove Asbestos?

Asbestos is a scary subject as well as it should be.

Long-term exposure to asbestos can cause serious health problems including cancers like mesothelioma.

  But since it is such a ominous subject that many people deal with, and there is a lot of misconceptions and questions people have when they think they have asbestos or have come in contact with it.

We created a small hit list of common questions.

Feel free to add questions and helps to the comment box to help keep this list updated.

Does a HEPA Filter Remove Asbestos?

Yes a HEPA filter will remove asbestos. HEPA filters are engineered to capture particles as small as .3 microns.

Asbestos micron sizes or in the .7 to 90 length and size.

A HEPA filter for asbestos is usually found in the form of an asbestos respirator.

A HEPA respirator should always be used doing with asbestos dust.

Respirators with a p100 rating render the greatest amount of protection.

Avoid using paper mask as asbestos fibers or much too small for a paper mask to offer protection

And asbestos air scrubber or air purifier uses HEPA filters but consumers are warned that an air purifier can have leaks that do not qualify it to be a proper asbestos abatement tool.

Professionals use HEPA as part of there bestest abatement process but as a homeowner the best HEPA asbestos air purifier should be left as a precautionary after the abatement is finished.

Does Asbestos stay in the air?

Asbestos can stay in the air up to 72 hours and longer when there are currants carrying it around.

Can you Vacuum Asbestos?

No you should never vacuum asbestos. Sweeping and vacuuming asbestos dust will only aggravate it and push it into the air stream where you can breathe it in.

Is Asbestos Dangerous When Wet?

Keeping asbestos wet is one way of keeping the particles stable but they do not enter the Airstream.

In fact asbestos when it is in water is not found to be dangerous and can even be swallowed without it becoming hazardous.

How long do you have to be exposed to asbestos for it to be harmful?

Low exposure to asbestos seldom causes disease. One brief Exposure does not cause a big risk.

But multiple brief exposures can add up to a significant amount of asbestos fiber being breathed.

Asbestos can be harmful to breathe in small amounts, and if you have been exposed to asbestos, it is best to tell your doctor before any breathing related issues arise.

   There is clearly a difference between someone who has come into brief contact with it compared to someone who has worked with it in construction for a long time.

Long-term exposure to asbestos and pre-existing lung diseases as well as how long you were exposed and how much of it was in the air all have a factor and how harmful it can be.

Are Asbestos Risk Overblown?

Long-term exposure to asbestos causes lung disease and mesothelioma.
That’s about as serious as it gets. These diseases can significantly shorten your life span and cause your life to be a living hell dealing with the cancer.

Short-term risk may be considered by some to be overblown because of the majority of people who suffer from asbestos-related diseases we’re exposed too heavy amounts of asbestos dust for a long period Of time.

Remember that working with asbestos is not the only way you can be exposed to it. Whenever it is Disturbed, it poses a hazard. For this reason it is important to know are you have Building Products that use asbestos in your home.

Can you smell asbestos? Is asbestos odorless?

Asbestos does not have an odor.

Can you Taste Asbestos?

No asbestos does not have a taste either.

Can you See Asbestos?

Asbestos fibers or not visible to the naked eye.

Will Asbestos Make Your Skin Itch.

No asbestos will not make your skin itchy like fiberglass.

If you are dealing with an older home, looking for asbestos is as practical as considering the building materials used at the time. For instance ceiling tiles were the rage back then but they were typically made out of asbestos materials. As were vinyl floor tiles. Cement sheets were used for outdoor siding which also contained asbestos.
If you have a home that was built before the 1980s , there is a good chance that you have some materials that have asbestos in them. Having your home tested is a good ideal.

Should I Test for Asbestos?

Short answer, no. You should contact a professional if you think you have asbestos in your home. Remember that insurance will not cover the cost if you not go through the proper channels.

Popcorn Asbestos

If you have a popcorn ceiling that you believe with chance of containing asbestos, it is best to have it tested.

As stated before, doing your own test or remediation can cause you to be up a Creek with no paddle when it comes to getting help from your insurance company.

Most insurance will not cover any type of do it yourself asbestos testing or handiwork.

As long as asbestos is not disturbed, it is not dangerous.

An Asbestos  ceiling can be sprayed with vinyl paint to keep it from crumbling.

It won’t change the look of the ceiling but it will help avoid the cost of having the ceiling completely removed by a professional.

If it’s safety issue where the ceiling is in danger of being scraped, a professional can place gypsum board over the asbestos ceiling to keep it from being disturbed and removing the dated look of the popcorn texture.

What Kind of Cancer Does Asbestos Cause?
1. Mesothelioma.
2. Ovarian Cancer
3. Laryngeal Cancer
4. Lung Cancerv


Can you get Mesothelioma from one exposure?

Asbestos cancer or mesothelioma occurs primarily in people who have had long term, high levels of exposure.

One exposure does not pose of developing Mesothelioma.

Asbestos on Shoes.

Getting asbestos on your shoes and clothing will provide a means of travel for the dust. Second hand exposure to asbestos can happen by the transfer of asbestos on your clothes and shoes.

The fears connected to asbestos come from the long-term heavy exposure because of the building materials that Carpenters and laymen were using daily
before the 1980s. But the fear of cancer should not concern you if you happened to come across asbestos. It takes much more than just a one-off incident.

Clothing and shoes are really not an issue anymore as for working with asbestos because companies are required to carry the proper protective wear. When you are done working, you simply leave the clothing behind.

5 Breathing Techniques that Reduce Anxiety and Help you Calm Down

We’re always being told how powerful and effective breathing techniques can be. Breathing is wonderful for controlling anxiety and the effects it has on your body. The problem is that most breathing techniques for anxiety are riddled with jargon or seem to require a deep knowledge of yoga. With that in mind, here are 5 breathing techniques that reduce anxiety and help you calm down. All of these techniques are simple and easy and can be done whenever you feel the need.

  1. Deep Breathing

While deep breathing is mostly used to reduce stress, it can also help with reducing anxiety. The idea behind deep breathing is the same as with any kind of breathing exercise. Focusing on the inhalation and exhalation, and taking control of the process, takes your mind off of the thoughts that are causing your anxiety. It also helps to relieve one of the major symptoms of anxiety – being short of breath.

How to Practice Deep Breathing

  1. Find a comfortable position
  2. Breathe in deeply through your nose and count to five
  3. Hold your breath for another count of five
  4. Exhale through your mouth for another count of five
  5. Repeat the process a few times
  1. Abdominal Breathing

The idea behind abdominal breathing is that you should pay attention to your muscle movements. It sounds simple enough, so let’s put it into practice.

How to Practice Abdominal Breathing

  1. Lie down flat. Keep your knees propped or stretch out your legs, whichever is more comfortable for you.
  2. Put your left hand on your chest and place your right hand on your stomach. You can also go the other way around if you prefer. Once again, choose the option that is most comfortable for you.
  3. 3. Breathe in through your nose at a slow and steady rate.
  4. Ensure that your diaphragm inflates. You should be able to feel the hand on your stomach move outwards while the hand on your chest remains still as you breathe.
  5. Exhale. Purse your lips together and push the air out of your body by tightening your stomach muscles. This should also cause the hand on your stomach to move inwards.
  6. Try to keep the hand on your chest as still as possible throughout the whole exercise
  7. Repeat the exercise several times a day, aiming for ten minutes of abdominal breathing twice a day.
  1. The 4-7-8 Exercise

The 4-7-8 breathing exercise, created by Dr Andrew Weil of Harvard, was inspired by Indian spiritual traditions. It can help you to relax in just about any situation. Dr Weil goes so far as to suggest that the technique can help you to fall asleep within a minute. It’s a sort of natural tranquilizer for your nervous system. It reduces tension and makes it easier to relax. It’s also really simple to practice and perform and can be done by anyone at any time.

How to Practice the 4-7-8 Breathing Technique

  1. Close your mouth and inhale through your nose for a count of four
  2. Hold your breath for a count of seven
  3. Exhale through your mouth for a count of eight
  4. Repeat the process a few times

What makes this technique so effective is that it lets more oxygen enter your lungs. All of the extra oxygen relaxes the nervous system and induces a state of calm across your whole body. Your nervous system can get overstimulated when you are stressed, which makes anxiety worse. Give the 4-7-8 technique a try the next time you get stressed out.

4. Alternate Nostril Breathing

If you have problems controlling your anxiety, then alternate nostril breathing can hep you to focus better and feel more in control. It helps to eliminate unwanted and worrying thoughts. Giving yourself some extra headspace can get rid of the concerns and negative thoughts that are causing your anxiety, giving you a much needed moment of peace.

How to Practice Alternate Nostril Breathing

  1. Sit down in a comfortable position. This can be on a couch, on your bed, or anywhere else you feel more comfortable
  2. Place your right thumb over your right nostril
  3. Inhale slowly through the left nostril. Inhale as deeply as you ca.
  4. Hold your breath and cover your left nostril with your right finger to open up the right nostril
  5. Exhale through the right nostril
  6. Repeat the exercise a few times to clear out your head

Don’t forget; breathe in through the right nostril and breathe out through the left one!

  1. Equal Breathing

If your stress gets out of control you might have problems breathing properly. As unpleasant as breathing difficulties are, they also help you regain control and calm.

You can take back control of your breathing to feel better. It’s amazing how much relief you can get from taking control over the bodily reactions associated with stress. As the name would imply, equal breathing is about breathing a balanced amount of air.

How to Practice Equal Breathing

  1. Breathe in with your nose for a count of five
  2. Breathe out through your nose for a count of five
  3. Repeat the process until your stress washes away

The equal breathing technique has been proven effective for those who have trouble with stress and panic attacks.

Summary

Anxiety is becoming more and more of an issue, and it can become a nightmare if you don’t take care of it early.

While knowing how to properly manage anxiety can be a long-term process, taking control as soon as it kicks off can help you stay in control. This helps motivate you to keep pushing and prevent anxiety attacks.

It can be difficult to get rid of anxiety, especially if you have a busy schedule, but putting aside just 10 minutes a day for breathing exercises will keep you happy and healthy.

Top 7 Plants to Purify your Air Naturally

Most people believe that the only reason to have plants in their home is for decoration. This is incorrect, as plants are effective at helping to tackle air pollution. They also generate a more relaxing and comfortable atmosphere no matter what room they are kept with. It’s been shown that spending time in nature is associated with being calm and relaxed and having low stressed levels. A study conducted in the Netherlands in 2008 showed that hospital patients who had indoor plants kept in their room weren’t stressed.

NASA started studying home plants in the late 1980s. They wanted to see if plants could provide cleaner air for their space stations. They discovered that there were indeed a range of house plants that helped to keep the air clean. This is because plants are able to naturally filter out harmful compounds in the air, removing air pollutants found in ammonia, formaldehyde, and gasoline, making it much easier, safer, and healthier to breathe.

These plants are easy enough to find and ad to your home to give your family the clean and fresh air they deserve. There’s no need to spend all that money on an air filter with Mother Nature on your side. NASA say that there are many plants that are able to absorb harmful toxins from the air and release pure clean oxygen. Not to mention they add a fresh touch of decoration to your home!

The Top 7 Plants to Purify Your Air Naturally

Here are seven beautiful plants to put in your home that are simple to clean and also effective at improving oxygen levels and quality in your home.

  1. Boston-Fern Plant

The Boston-fern plant is a leafy plant that makes for a great natural air humidifier. As they go about absorbing moisture from the air around them, they also get rid of dangerous formaldehyde. The plant is characterized by its five-foot-high feathers. The name for the Boston-fern plant comes from the fact that it is the most popular house plant for Bostonians.

The Boston fern plant provides numerous health benefits as well as being naturally beautiful. It’s a great addition to the home for anyone suffering from dry skin because it works as a humidifier to restore healthy moisture levels. They can also help to remove formaldehyde. Just be careful when taking care of it. The Boston fern plant needs to be watered regularly and it should be kept in direct sunlight so it can be healthy.

  1. Peace Lily

The lily of peace is among the most attractive plants when it comes to shapes. It has delicate unique white flowers and it also has one of the highest purification rates of all plants. Peace lilies are able to remove benzene, acetone, chloride, and alcohol from the surrounding air. Just be careful because the plant itself is quite toxic. You must keep it away from children and pets to ensure everyone’s safety.

Peace lily can also help to eliminate mold that may grow in homes because it is able to absorb the germs from mold through its leaves and process them as food. This makes it a great addition to any bathroom. It will keep your bathroom tiles and curtains clean and free from mold while absorbing the harmful vapors of acetone and alcohol.

  1. Palm Leaf Plant

The palm leaf plant, also known as Palm Rapids, is a plant that takes a lot of watering during the spring and summer. It compensates for this by being resistant to insects and growing thick leaves that are rich with color. So, it’s a fair trade-off for the trouble. Not to mention, of course, that it helps keep the air clean and fresh.

Palm leaf plants are gorgeous and would make a great addition to any home. Just be prepared to keep it hydrated during the hot weather. Plants are living things after all, and even they will require a little extra care when the weather gets hot.

  1. Spider Plant

Spider plant leaves are known to grow quickly, but they are also known to help absorb harmful substances out of the air including allergens and mold. It is a perfect addition to a room inhabited by someone with a dust allergy, or indeed any allergy.

Spider plants require natural light to grow properly, but they shouldn’t be exposed to direct sunlight. They thrive best in wet environments and grow at an impressive rate if watered twice a week. They can grow so quickly they are fully grown in a few days even. The spider plant is able to remove up to 90% of toxins from the air; including carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, solvents used to make rubber, and xylene. It’s also completely safe for pets so one to consider if you’ve got critters in your home.

  1. Snake Plant

The snake plant is unique in that it absorbs carbon dioxide to release oxygen during the night. It’s sort of a nocturnal plant. Most people who have snake plants keep them in the living room or in their bathroom. The plant is a simple one that doesn’t take a lot of care and maintenance to keep healthy. It absorbs formaldehyde and prevents it from doing damage. Formaldehyde is commonly found in cleaning products, personal care products, and toilet paper – among others.

Snake plants are one of the very best plants when it comes to absorbing formaldehyde from the air. If you keep one in your bathroom it should do well there thanks to the low light and wet conditions, while also helping to filter out pollutants and keep the air clean. Keep one in your bathroom where it can enjoy the low light conditions and release plenty of fresh oxygen. Having a lovely plant in the bathroom also helps with the unpleasant smells one may encounter in their bathroom. So they’re worth it for that.

  1. Cactus Plants

If you want to get a plant for your home, then you can’t go wrong with a cactus. They are a smart choice for sunny kitchen windows. Not only do they keep the air clean, but they are also a popular choice due to their healing properties. Cacti have a gel inside of their leaves that is great for healing injuries and burns. The humble cactus can also significantly improve the indoor air quality of your home. This plant is simple to grow and maintain and helps keep your home free from the gasoline found in chemical detergents and paint.

  1. Orchid Plant

The orchid plant has a distinct but beautiful flower. Like snake plants, they stand out due to their ability to increase oxygen emissions at night. They are also known to remove xylene, a common containment found in paint. They make any room easier to breathe in as a result.

There are many plants you can grow in your home to improve air quality and foster other great benefits. For example, basil helps to keep out insects and mosquitoes. Lavender is used for its relaxing and calming effects. Studies have shown that jasmine plants help to reduce anxiety levels. If you have any kind of problem, Mother Nature likely has the solution. Provided you know where to look.

Another great benefit of having plants in the house is that it helps you to reconnect with nature. They make your home more beautiful and a better place to live in as you enjoy the diverse range of benefits they offer. Plants decorate homes, keep rooms bright, and create a more relaxed and comfortable atmosphere in your home. So try out some of these plants in your house and see what they can do for your mental and physical health and overall quality of life. Put down the air filter and pick up a plant pot!

Our Top 6 Gutter Cleaning Hacks

As the seasons change, it’s time to take care of the home and undo the damage of the last season. One task that you may have to do – as much as you don’t want to – is cleaning out the gutters.

Never overlook the importance of clean gutters.

There are a number of reasons that you should keep them clean, including preventing flooding, roof damage, and more. A dirty gutter is also a potent source of mold. Mold thrives in moist conditions like a clogged gutter. It’s important that you get your gutters cleared out regularly, even if you have to do it yourself.

The good news is that keeping utters clean doesn’t have to be as tough as you think it is. There are lots of ways to make the process faster and safer. Here are six of the very best gutter cleaning hacks to help you get through this arduous chore.

  1. Rain Gutter Cleaner

The rain gutter cleaner is a great way to keep your gutters clean without having to invest a lot of time or money. What’s so great about the rain gutter is that it is a perfectly safe way to keep gutters clean. Anyone who has climbed up their ladder and tried to hand remove leaves understands how nasty – not to mention dangerous – it can be. The Rain Gutter Cleaner uses water to keep gutters clean. It costs around $10 to set up your own Rain Gutter Cleaner, so consider getting one of your own installed.

  1. Extendable Gutter Cleaning Wands

This is a hose attachment that works wonders for keeping gutters clean. It turns your hose into a pressure washer, putting out enough pressure to keep leaves out of a gutter. It also has a number of other uses including cleaning the car. There’s nothing quite like a multi-purpose tool. After all, the more a tool can do, the more likely you are to want to invest in it!

  1. Gutter Wedges

While you can invest in a gutter guard system, they tend to cost in the thousands. That’s a lot of money for something like keeping gutters clean. There’s no point in spending that kind of money when you can just invest in a more cost-effective solution like the Gutter Wedge. It features a patented flow-through design that makes leaves and other debris flow up and away from the downspout opening. This keeps the gutter clear to allow rainwater to quickly and efficiently be drained. Best of all, it takes just a few minutes to set up and install.

  1. Get Some New Tools

There are lots of other tools out there that are designed to make gutter cleaning easier. One of the best is the “GutterTongs”. They perform pretty much as you would expect with a name like that. They work with any type of gutter, removing the need to climb a ladder by scooping leaves out of a gutter with the same type of tongs that you would use to toss a salad – if salad tongs were 12 feet long. You can also use the GutterTongs to hold your hose and give gutters a thorough cleaning after removing the debris. Another great tool for gutter cleaning is cultivators. These are particularly useful for people who live in single-story homes as they reach up to six feet and are effective for removing leaves from gutters.

  1. Blow Them Away

You may already be familiar with leaf blowers. They are great tools for collecting leaves in the garden. Have you ever considered using your leaf blower to clear the leaves out of your gutter? If you haven’t, then you should. There is a trick to it of course; you have to extend the reach of the leaf blower beyond its typical length. You can find an attachment for doing just that at most local home centers. Or you can just get some basic plumbing supplies and put your own together. If you don’t have a leaf blower then you’d be surprised at what a vacuum can do if you turn suction tool into a blower. The downside of these approaches are that while the air could eliminate leaves and twigs, it isn’t able to get rid of any decomposing organic material or dirt that has gotten lodged in. Also keep in mind that you will generally need a ladder to access the gutters in a multi-story home. It can be dangerous for anyone to scale an extension ladder no matter who they are. Doing that while holding a leaf blower? Well, that’s just asking for trouble. So please don’t do it, for your own safety.

  1. Old Fashioned Climbing and Cleaning

If all else fails and you find there some backup or clog that could only be eliminated manually, then you should still be smart about it. The first thing to do is ensure that your ladder is safe and sturdy enough for you to climb properly. After climbing up and reaching the clog, you want to use a scoop or other household tool to increase your reach and clear out the clog. A really surprising tool that can help out a lot here is a simple spatula. Just make sure you clean it off before using it in the kitchen again!

Summary

Now you know all about cleaning gutters with all of the best gutter cleaning hacks around, what’s stopping you from making use of them? Your gutters, house foundation, landscaping, and even your health will thank you for keeping your gutters clean. It’s a surprisingly simple piece of home maintenance most people overlook. Don’t be one of those people!

Seasonal Allergies – 5 Simple Remedies To Get Relief Now

The weather is getting warmer, and with it comes a higher pollen count. That may leave you with a runny nose, itchy eyes, and that annoying sensation of not being able to sneeze no matter how much you want to. One of the most common home remedies for seasonal allergies is local honey. The idea is to build up immunity before symptoms hit. It can work, but it’s far from the only solution. Here are 5 simple remedies to help you get relief from seasonal allergies.

seasonal allergy remedies

Nettle-Peppermint Tea

Nettles have a bad reputation, but they are one of the best herbs you could have in your repertoire. They can be used or everything from arthritis and lowering blood pressure to easing seasonal allergies. Peppermint itself has a kind of flavonoid called luteolin-7-O rutinoside, which helps to prevent anti-inflammatory enzymes such as histamines from being reduced. Peppermint also helps to reduce the effects of these enzymes to reduce the impact of seasonal allergies. Just put the peppermint and nettle together in a mug and pour in boiling water. Steep the mixture for around 15 minutes, add some honey for taste, and drink twice a day as needed to get allergy relief.

Bee Pollen

If you aren’t getting the relief you need from local honey, then you should try bee pollen. The concept behind the two is pretty similar; start taking small amounts and gradually increase the dosage to build up your immunity to the local pollen around you. This follows what is known as the “hygiene hypothesis”, where being exposed to germs and bacteria as a child leads to immunity against them in later life. Expose yourself to allergens before allergy season begins to ensure your system isn’t hit as hard when there’s more pollen in the air. It’s important that you make sure you aren’t allergic to bees or anaphylactic, and that you don’t have an allergic reaction to pollen. It’s important that you use local pollen. This remedy only works if you’re using local pollen. It should come from a good, organic source. Start taking pollen around five months before the allergy season begins. Start out with a small dose and gradually increase the dose. Decrease the dose if you start developing allergic reactions, and continue taking a small dose during the allergy season itself.

Citrus Drinks

Given that allergies tend to peak during the spring and summer, they coincide with the warm and sunny weather that you enjoy by spending time outdoors. While tea is healing, there are times when you just want a cool and refreshing drink. This great citrus drink is packed full of vitamin C, which helps to relieve seasonal allergies as it nourishes the immune system. Given that allergies leave the immune system in trouble, it’s easy to understand why a citrus drink like this is a great idea. You’ll need 2 oranges, half a lemon, and a tablespoon of raw, organic local honey. Squeeze the juice out of the lemon and oranges and leave them to chill for a few hours before stirring in the honey, adding ice, and enjoying on a daily basis.

Red Onion Water

Onions are filled with quercetin, a water soluble compound that has been shown to reduce the amount of histamine the human body produces. Effectively, it reduces allergy symptoms. Think of it as a natural anti-histamine. Quercetin has also been shown to inhibit inflammation and work as a bronchodilator; that is to say that it opens up the airways and makes it easier to breathe. For this you’re going to need 1 red onion, 4 cups of water, and some organic raw honey to taste. Slice the onion as thinly as you can and add it to the water. Leave it to infuse for up to 12 hours before drinking it once or twice a day. It will keep in a fridge for up to 4 days, so don’t be afraid to make a lot in advance. Add some honey into an individual glass when drinking it to add some taste if you want.

Air Purifiers

Air purifiers are a great way to keep seasonal allergies at bay, but not just any air purifier will do. You need to avoid using an ionic air purifier, because they generate ozone; a toxic substance. You need a HEPA-certified air filter. HEPA stands for “High-effective particulate air”, and an air filter needs to remove 99.7% of particles in air over 0.3 micrometers in order to meet this lofty standard.

HEPA filters are ideal for people with mild and moderate allergies that want some respite, but keep in mind that they only protect you while you’re indoors. If you have severe allergic reactions to airborne allergens and seasonal diseases, then you might want to invest in a bigger and more powerful PECO filter. A PECO filter – which stands for photoelectrochemical oxidation – works on the molecular level to destroy airborne irritants and pollutants. It can take out some of the things that a HEPA filter may miss. It’s beneficial for those who need immediate relief from severe allergies. Don’t forget to replace the filter in an air purifier every so often!

Summary

There are lots of things you can do in your home to reduce the impact of seasonal allergies. It’s tempting to open up the window to let in the cool breeze, but remember this will also let in allergens. It’s better to keep the windows closed and rely on the AC. Try some of these natural remedies and invest in a good HEPA filter to keep your nose clean this allergy season.