Buildings contain many types of materials and associated chemicals. Unless managed and handled properly some of these can affect the health of people doing renovations, their families, neighbours and the environment.
Hazards posed by some materials, such as lead and asbestos, are fairly well known. However, dust and fumes from apparently "safe" materials such as timber products, manufactured timber (eg. MDF) paint or cement can also potentially affect people's health and the environment.
Being aware of these hazards will help renovators to minimise or eliminate their potential impact. Proper planning, safe work practices, and a thorough clean up will help to reduce the risk from dust and fumes created by hazardous materials during renovations.
Materials such as lead paint or asbestos that are in good condition, (not peeling or creating dust), or are sealed behind non-hazardous materials (eg. new paint or plaster board) are relatively safe. if the material is in good condition LEAVE IT ALONE. Disturbing or removing it unsafely can create a greater hazard.