When it comes to simple home projects, most of us will be quite confident doing it on our own. I mean, why call a handyman if you’re trying to be frugal and you want to be independent, right? After all, the need to fix things will pop up here and there occasionally… better learn how to do them too. Truly, taking on a DIY project is a key element of house owning heritage. However, you need to know some DIY hazards that can put your health at risk. What are they? Here we find out:
Asbestos and Mesothelioma
Asbestos is a group of substances that we can find naturally in the environment as bundles of fibers. These materials can then be separated into thin, durable threads and used subsequently in construction. Research shows that exposure to asbestos is linked to cancer and the most common form is mesothelioma. This is a rare, aggressive form of cancer that primarily develops in the lining of the lungs or the abdomen. Mesothelioma has no known cure and has a poor prognosis.
Volatile Organic Compounds
Volatile organic compounds are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids. These include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects. DIY advocates will often complain of eye, nose, and throat irritation. The worst health hazard you can get from VOCs though is damage to the liver, kidney, and central nervous system. Sources of VOCs include:
- Paints, paint strippers, and other solvents
- Wood preservatives
- Aerosol sprays
- Cleansers and disinfectants
- Moth repellents and air fresheners
- Stored fuels and automotive products
- Hobby supplies
- Dry-cleaned clothing
- Building materials and furnishings
Common Equipment Injuries
This is probably your least concern compared to the first two DIY hazards but don’t celebrate just yet. The number of people who are hurt from common home improvement objects and DIY tools can reach up to more than 200,000 a year. Also, one in five DIY advocates wind up in the hospital every single year due to accidents that occur during those projects. The most common culprits, however, are ladders, hand tools, table tools such as saws, and knives. Predictably, knives and scalpels occupy the top spot but even the screwdriver can result to thousands of visits to the accident department. You can never be too sure.
Prevention is Key
This you already know but it’s hard to follow isn’t it? In your mind, you probably think you’re in a safe environment, you know your limits, and how hard could it be? However, to avoid common DIY mistakes and injuries, take precautions ALL THE TIME. Wear protective eye glasses when you’re working with tools or harsh chemicals. Wear gloves when cleaning or working with landscaping tools and wear protective footwear while doing the project. Keep kids and pets away from all work areas because they can also be harmed or can even cause distractions that could in turn lead to accidents. If you’ve become not so confident doing DIY projects, there’s always a Handyman you can call.