With its location on the midwest part of the United States, the state of Missouri is a large tourist destination for outdoor recreation, information technology and transportation. Environmental efficiency is on the rise throughout the state because of technology and green building methods progressing rapidly. 

Not only will these methods produce a healthier lifestyle, it will save you money. Many older homes built prior to 1980 may still harvest obsolete and corrosive building materials which can create health concerns.

Green methods of building and construction have become a prominent aspect of Missouri's communities.

Implementing green methods of building can have positive environmental, health and economic benefits. These include: Conservation of natural resources, enhance air quality, protect eco systems, energy sustainability, increase property value, improve quality of life, improvement of pulmonary and cardiac health, Reduction of waste.

Asbestos

Asbestos is a fibrous mineral that was utilized throughout the 20th century as an ideal form of insulation and piping in construction applications. Most of Missouri's asbestos has been as a result of its large petroleum industry. Oil giants such as BP Amoco, Chevron and American Oil all have refineries stationed in the state.

Libby Montana Asbestos Threat

On June 17, 2009, the towns of Libby and Troy in Northwest Montana were placed under a public health emergency by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.  Vermiculite which is contaminated with asbestos was mined in the town of Libby until 1990. Due to the asbestos being minded for decades, thousands of workers and civilians were unknowingly exposed. Several asbestos-related diseases have been documented in Libby as a result.

The new EPA administrator has made vigorous statements in not only acknowledging the grave health concerns surrounding Libby, but has demanded for aggressive cleanups to protect the citizens from asbestos exposure. Asbestos industries have been heavily scrutinized for concealing information and not informing the public on the dangers associated with asbestos. 

Tips & Advice

It is not always an easy process to determine whether or not a particular insulation contains asbestos. If any suspected asbestos is located, leaving it undisturbed is advisable as this will prevent its fibers from becoming airborne. The Missouri Department of Environmental Quality assists citizens in the inspection, removal and safe disposal of asbestos. Removal in public facilities, homes and workplaces must be undertaken by a licensed asbestos abatement contractor.

Asbestos exposure can lead to the development of a rare, but severe form of asbestos lung cancer known as mesothelioma. With a latency period that lasts 20 to 50 years, it isn't until the later stages of progression when physicians usually are able to accurately diagnose this disease.

Missouri Going Green!

Recently, congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Included in this act were extensions to the tax incentives placed for energy efficiency in 2005, as well as new credits for homeowners who remodel or build using eco-sustainable methods.

Some of the measures that are eligible for tax credits include added insulation to walls, ceilings, or other part of the building envelope that meets the 2009 IECC specifications, sealing cracks in the building shell and ducts to reduce heat loss. Storm doors paired with U-factored rated wood doors are also eligible.

Green options to asbestos include the use of cotton fiber, lcynene foam and cellulose. Made from recycled batted material, it is also treated to be fireproof.  Statistics show that the lcynene foam, for example, can cut energy costs by about 25 percent annually, according to studies done by manufacturers. These green insulation alternatives have the same beneficial qualities as asbestos, minus the health deteriorating and toxic components.