Asbestos is the name given to a number of naturally occurring, fibrous silicate minerals mined for their useful properties such as
thermal insulation, chemical and thermal stability, and high tensile strength. Asbestos is commonly used as an acoustic insulator,
thermal insulation, fire proofing and in other building materials. Many products are in use today that contain asbestos.
Asbestos is made up of microscopic bundles of fibers that may become airborne when asbestos-containing materials are damaged
or disturbed. When these fibers get into the air they may be inhaled into the lungs, where they can cause significant health problems.
Mold Molds produce tiny spores to reproduce. Mold spores waft through the indoor and outdoor air continually. When mold spores
land on a damp spot indoors, they may begin growing and digesting whatever they are growing on in order to survive. There are
molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, and foods. When excessive moisture accumulates indoors, mold growth will often
develop, particularly if the moisture problem remains undiscovered or unaddressed. There is no practical way to eliminate all mold
and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture.
Radon is a cancer-causing natural radioactive gas that you can’t see, smell or taste. Its presence in your home can pose a danger to
your family's health. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. Radon is the second leading cause of lung
cancer in America and claims about 20,000 lives annually. EPA has launched a new series of television, radio and print public
service announcements encouraging people to test and fix their homes for radon. This is a good time to focus on testing and on fixing
homes with a radon level of 4 pCi/L or more. Heed the Surgeon General's warning. Take action now to reduce your family's risk of
lung cancer from radon! EPA's Maryland Radon Map
Arsenic is a semi-metal element in the periodic table. It is odorless and tasteless. Because it occurs naturally in the environment and
as a by-product of some agricultural and industrial activities, it can enter drinking water through the ground or as runoff into surface
water sources. Like many contaminants that enter drinking water supplies, arsenic is potentially hazardous at high levels. Because
you cannot see or taste arsenic in water, it is up to the well owner to test for arsenic. Arsenic tends to occur more frequently in ground
water supplies, especially when demand causes significant drops in water levels in certain areas. It is best to consult your local health
department about this situation and ask about your area.
Lead, a metal found in natural deposits, is commonly used in household plumbing materials and water service lines. The greatest
exposure to lead is swallowing or breathing in lead paint chips and dust.
Lead in drinking water can also cause a variety of adverse health effects. In babies and children, exposure to lead in drinking water
above the action level can result in delays in physical and mental development, along with slight deficits in attention span and learning
abilities. In adults, it can cause increases in blood pressure. Adults who drink this water over many years could develop kidney
problems or high blood pressure.
Lead is rarely found in source water, but enters tap water through corrosion of plumbing materials. Homes built before 1986 are more
likely to have lead pipes, fixtures and solder. However, new homes are also at risk: even legally “lead-free” plumbing may contain up
to 8 percent lead. The most common problem is with brass or chrome-plated brass faucets and fixtures which can leach significant
amounts of lead into the water, especially hot water.
Radium is a radioactive metal that occurs naturally in trace amounts in rocks, soils, and ground water. As radium decays, it
continually releases energy into the environment until a stable, nonradioactive substance is formed. This energy is part of the natural
radiation to which all living creatures are exposed. Radium readily dissolves in groundwater where acid conditions (low pH levels) are
found. The various forms of naturally occurring radium found in groundwater are radium 224, 226, and 228. Radium, like other
elements of the earth's crust, naturally enters the body through drinking water and food. In the body, radium acts much like calcium.
When swallowed, a small amount of radium attaches to bones, but most of the radium will leave the body naturally in feces or urine.
Studies of workers who ingested high levels of radium from occupational activities have shown it to cause bone cancer.
Buried oil tanks - Underground storage tanks (USTs) are used for storing residential heating oil. Oil heat is safe, efficient and
economical. However, the average lifespan of a buried steel tank can vary widely depending on the soil conditions and surrounding
environment. It is recommended that home buyer's intending to remain oil heat customers or those changing their heating system
source should protect their investment by evaluating the tank and soil prior to the real estate closing. Leak/Failure Assessment,
Tank closure in place, Tank removal
Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless and toxic gas. Because it is impossible to see, taste or smell the toxic fumes, CO can
kill you before you are aware it is in your home. At lower levels of exposure, CO causes mild effects that are often mistaken for the flu.
These symptoms include headaches, dizziness, disorientation, nausea and fatigue. The effects of CO exposure can vary greatly from
person to person depending on age, overall health and the concentration and length of exposure. Unvented kerosene and gas space
heaters; leaking chimneys and furnaces; back-drafting from furnaces, gas water heaters, wood stoves, and fireplaces; gas stoves;
generators and other gasoline powered equipment; automobile exhaust from attached garages; and tobacco smoke. Incomplete
oxidation during combustion in gas ranges and unvented gas or kerosene heaters may cause high concentrations of CO in indoor
air. Worn or poorly adjusted and maintained combustion devices (e.g., boilers, furnaces) can be significant sources, or if the flue is
improperly sized, blocked, disconnected, or is leaking. Auto, truck, or bus exhaust from attached garages, nearby roads, or parking
areas can also be a source.
|Home inspections are available 7 days a week.....mornings,
afternoons, and evenings. Call today and we'll fit you in. Last
minute requests are welcome.
|© Copyright 2012 Joe Fraser Property Inspections, Inc.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED