Asbestos contains naturally occurring fibrous component that sees wide commercial use due to the material’s low heat conduction, high tensile strength, and chemical resistance. For these reasons, you can find asbestos in a wide array of products such as fire blankets, house insulation, water supply lines, roofing shingles, car brake lines, clutches, and much more.
The two primary forms of asbestos are crocidolite( blue asbestos) and chrysotile(white asbestos). Other types of asbestos include actinolite, tremolite, anthophyllite, and amosite.
That said, all types of asbestos are considered carcinogenic to the human body. Asbestos exposure, especially to chrysotile, can cause ovarian, larynx, and lung cancer. The most prominent cause of asbestos-related diseases is mesothelioma, a tumorous growth on the lining of the chest and lungs.
Furthermore, asbestos is also responsible for other lung-related diseases like effusion in the pleura, plaques, and asbestosis. As of today, more than 125 million people worldwide come in contact with asbestos in their homes and workplaces. Around 50 percent of occupational-related deaths are due to asbestos-related diseases and cancers.
While it might be challenging to avoid asbestos exposure altogether, you can lower your risk of contracting asbestos-related diseases by taking a few preventative measures. Some of these measures are listed down below;
If your home contains asbestos, let the professionals handle house maintenance.
Homeowners should never take the DIY house maintenance approach if their house contains asbestos. For instance, you should never dry buff or sand off floor tiles as they might contain asbestos. If you do, carcinogenic dust will enter your airway and deposit on the lining of your stomach and lungs. Instead, take a wet sanding approach along with low abrasion pads with your sander set to 300 rounds per minute.
Also, falling and broken ceilings tiles should be left untouched until the experts come in and identify them. If you suspect that your tiles floor or ceiling tiles contain asbestos, call in asbestos abatement workers, as they have the excellent experience and tools to remove asbestos-containing materials from your home safely.
Taking a DIY house maintenance approach will allow you to save money in the short term. However, it will end up costing you more in medical treatments if you contract mesothelioma. For individuals who don’t know what mesothelioma is, you can go online and learn more about it and how you can avoid contracting this disease.
Don’t disturb asbestos.
To prevent asbestos-related diseases, you have to avoid asbestos exposure. After all, staying away from it is the best thing individuals can do if they value their health. That said, to ensure you keep your distance, you must always be aware of its location. If you don’t know whether or not something contains asbestos, it’s better to call in a professional to verify it.
They will take samples of the material and run tests on it to determine the presence of asbestos. So if you have reason to believe that something in your house contains asbestos, do not touch it or disturb it, or better yet, stay ten away from it.
If your workplace contains asbestos, use proper safety equipment.
Occupational asbestos exposure is one of the main ways individuals contract asbestos-related diseases. At-risk employees include auto mechanics, shipbuilders, shipyard workers, construction workers, insulation installers, miners, etc.
These days, it is vital for employers to enforce federal and state laws that dictate how to handle asbestos at the workplace. In addition, they should address any safety concerns and provide their employees with protective clothing, respiratory gear, and proper ventilation to keep exposure to a minimum.
Failing to follow these rules and regulations might put employees at risk of contracting asbestos-related diseases such as mesothelioma. Moreover, employers might have to pay substantial federal and state fines if they fail to prevent asbestos exposure. Also, if, for some reason, an employee contracts mesothelioma, they might file a workplace injury claim and will end up receiving compensation due to gross negligence or willful wrongful doing.
If you work as an insulation installer and handle asbestos regularly, it would be better to quit smoking. Quitting smoking will drastically decrease your chances of developing asbestos-related diseases such as mesothelioma. Asbestos and smoking are a deadly combination and will undoubtedly lead to mesothelioma if you don’t avoid it.
So, if you handle asbestos and smoke simultaneously, try cutting down on your tobacco intake as it will compound the issues. Not to mention, smoking is already bad for your health as it causes lung cancer, the most common cancer type in the USA.
Stay away from old homes and buildings.
Before purchasing a home or a building apartment, state and deferral law suggests inspecting the premises to determine the asbestos presence, especially in older buildings and homes. Keeping that in mind, you might find asbestos in older buildings, including factories, firehouses, schools, homes, and offices.
So contact your local state-licensed contractor and schedule an inspection before you purchase any property.
In light of the information mentioned above, the easiest way to prevent asbestos-related diseases is to eliminate asbestos exposure. If there is no asbestos present inside your home or workplace, the chances of contracting asbestos-related lung diseases will dramatically decrease.
That said, today, it is impossible to say that our environment is entirely asbestos-free. Such a material, although heavily regulated, will find its way into your workplace or home one way or another. So, follow the points mentioned above to keep exposure as low as possible.