Home Health Hazards

You can be exposed to physical, chemical, and biological hazards in your home. Learn what to do about mold, lead, asbestos, or other contaminants that pose serious health concerns.

  • Asbestos can be found in older homes in siding, shingles, insulation, and flooring. It leads to serious lung problems if you breathe it in.
  • Cooking meth leaves a residue on anything that comes into contact with it. Houses where meth has been cooked or smoked need to be decontaminated by a licensed company.
  • Lead is a highly toxic metal that is commonly found in older homes with lead-based paint. It’s easily inhaled or ingested and causes brain and nerve problems, especially in young children.
  • Mold is commonly found in many Pacific Northwest homes and can cause respiratory problems or damage your property.
  • Rodents are common in every living environment, but they carry diseases. Learn how to prevent rodent infestations.
  1. Asbestos
  2. Lead
  3. Methamphetamine
  4. Mold
  5. Rodents

What is it?

Asbestos is a mineral fiber found in rocks and soil. It used to be commonly used in building materials and is still used in some products today. Potential sources of asbestos are shingles, insulation, siding, and flooring.


Health Risks

Asbestos-containing materials are generally not a health risk when they are intact and undisturbed. If asbestos-containing materials are damaged, disturbed, or deteriorate over time, you can inhale the microscopic fibers and damage your lungs. Not everyone who is exposed to asbestos has health problems, but when health problems do develop, they range from manageable to severe.

Most people don’t show any signs or symptoms of asbestos-related disease for 10 to 20 years or more after exposure. When symptoms do appear, they might seem similar other health problems. Only a doctor can tell if your symptoms are asbestos-related.


Additional Information

For more information about the health risks of asbestos, visit the Washington State Department of Health.