14 December 2009

A Warning!!

Home is supposed to be a safe place--a haven of peace away from the worries and stresses of the outside world. But what happens when your home isn't?
We've dealt with quite a few problems so far--mold, water damage, mice. All OK. But then, as we were working on the kitchen, I was reading a book about remodeling and a sentence caught my eye about the possiblities of asbestos in 'older' vinyl sheet flooring. I started web surfing and found this problem had been identified quite a few years ago. OK, slight sigh of relief...but what I found next scared me and sent me searching for more info; on a site answering questions about asbestos I read accounts of homeowners who had found it in flooring from the 80's and possibly beyond that (90's). And some, like us, had already been working with it; at least one mom with young children at home had and she is not alone!
This led to getting a hold of the experts for our area and having a sample tested. Today we recieved the results...positive for asbestos in the floor's backing.The rest of the day has been somewhat a blur and now this evening as I sit here with the mindless chatter of the TV on, there are no words to completely describe what I am feeling right now; let's just say it is a mixture of anger (at the craziness of the thinking that led people to put this stuff in homes after the dangers were clearly identified), fear, bewilderment, unbelief at the situation -- all this mixed with a bit of faith and trust in God.
It wasn't supposed to be like this--the problem is 'older' sheet vinyl flooring (and other things) and this has been a known problem since the 70's (or before??). Now would it surprise you to hear that our home was built in the early 80's? Hardly older wouldn't you think and pretty disturbing that this was still being put into the backing of sheet flooring AFTER it was identified as a known hazard and one that is not indestructible! I truly just don't get it.
Nothing much can be done about the matter now; as I have already said we have all been exposed to it. Now my family has some hard decisions to make on how to deal with this. And this is where the tiny bit of faith and trust come in...
Despite the obvious turmoil in mind and heart right now (did I say my oldest son has been living with us?), this verse keeps playing through my mind and spirit: "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths." Proverbs 3:5,6 KJV
I am scared, yes. Any human, any wife, any mom and grandma would be at this point. But when I am filled with fear rather then choosing to be 'frozen' or overwhelmed by it (although the problem does seem a bit overwhelming right now) I keep turning to God and trust that He still has my good in mind. "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28 KJV.
We can't control everything in our lives. I've had friends that have suffered the loss of spouses and children; I've had friends that died-in accidents and from disease. I've known (and know) those who are dealing with chronic illness daily. I am also aware that we live in a world that is filled with uncertainties over economic situations, war (and the threats thereof) and a world where everyone--both Believers and unbelivers suffer at times. Speaking personally, I am glad that at a most unsettling time like this I can turn to God, both in prayer and scriptures for peace. I am thankful that, at the times when I feel most alone I can also turn to fellow Christians for prayer support.
And now to my second public 'service' announcement:

PLEASE, if you are doing remodeling or repair in your home check with your state's agency that deals with asbestos. For general info check this site also:

Additional notes and links:
1) Testing was under $50. Your state agency should be able to give you a list of places where you can have this done and further guidance re: abatement, etc.
2) No vinyl flooring to worry about? Good, but please for the sake of your family and selves check out the link above and many more that talk about asbestos in the home and elsewhere. It is found in quite a few things--some types of ceilings, some insulations, some floor tiles, etc.
3) I am not trying to frighten anyone, BTW, just inform. I AM NO expert, hence the link to the experts:)
4) Wikipedia's general article on the subject: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asbestos

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