Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous mineral widely utilized in commercial applications due to its high tensile strength, low heat conduction, and high chemical and electrical resistance. Due to such reasons, you will find asbestos in various products such as water supply lines, car brake lines, house insulation, fire blankets, roofing shingles, clutches, and much more. The two primary forms of asbestos are and chrysotile (white asbestos) and crocidolite (blue asbestos). Other asbestos types are anthophyllite, tremolite, amosite, and actinolite.
All of the asbestos types mentioned above are considered immensely hazardous for human health. In fact, asbestos exposure, especially to chrysotile, can lead to cancer of the ovaries, lungs, and larynx. However, it can also cause mesothelioma, which attacks the lungs and stomach lining. Furthermore, it can also cause a few other lung-related diseases such as asbestosis, pleura effusions, and pleural plaques. Nowadays, upwards of 125 million people globally are dealing with asbestos exposure at their workplaces and homes. In fact, around half of all workplace-related deaths are caused by cancer and asbestos-related diseases. While it might be tricky to avoid asbestos exposure, you can guard yourself against this carcinogenic mineral by taking a few preventative measures. A few of these measures are mentioned below.
If Your Home Or Workplace Contains Asbestos, Don’t Remove It Yourself
Homeowners and workers alike should never DIY asbestos removal, especially if they value their long-term health and wellbeing. For instance, you should never sand off or buff floor tiles as they might contain asbestos, and all you’ll be doing would be spreading asbestos dust in the air. In fact, this carcinogenic dust will enter your air tract attach itself to your stomach and lung lining, leading to malignant mesothelioma. So, instead of using the dry buffing method, consider using low abrasion pads along with the wet sanding methods when performing any home or office renovation jobs.
Also, it would be best never to touch falling or cracked ceiling tiles until the experts come in and ensure that no asbestos is present inside them. That said, if you suspect that they contain asbestos, get in touch with asbestos abatement professionals. These individuals have the tools and expertise to safely remove asbestos from your workplace and home. So, while DIY maintenance will enable you to save a quick buck, but it will end up costing you more in medical treatments if you develop an asbestos-related disease in the future.
Avoid Disturbing Asbestos And Asbestos-Containing Materials
To avoid contracting asbestos-related diseases, you must try your best to prevent asbestos exposure. After all, staying as far away as possible from this cancerous mineral is the best approach to ensure your health and safety. That said, to ensure you maintain a safe distance, you need to remain aware of the location of asbestos at your workplace or home. If you’re unsure that a particular material contains asbestos, like your flooring insulation, assume that it does until a professional tells you otherwise.
In fact, they will take samples of the substance in doubt and run lab tests on it to identify if it contains asbestos or not. Hence, if you think that something in your house/workplace is made from asbestos, don’t disturb or touch the material at all costs.
Utilize Proper Safety Equipment When Working Around Asbestos
Work-related asbestos exposure is the primary reason workers develop asbestos-related
diseases in the long run. These at-risk workers include shipyard workers, insulation installers, pipefitters, air mechanics, auto mechanics, shipbuilders, construction workers, miners, etc. Nowadays, business leaders must enforce federal and state laws that list ways to deal with asbestos at the workplace. Furthermore, employers must address all health and safety concerns and provide their employees with respiratory gear, protective equipment, and proper ventilation to limit asbestos exposure.
Failure to follow these regulations and guidelines will put workers at risk of developing occupational diseases such as mesothelioma. Not to mention, employers will have to pay massive state and federal penalties if they fail to keep their employees safe. So, if one of your workers develops mesothelioma, they might end up filing a negligence lawsuit against you. As a result, you will have to pay millions of dollars in compensation money!
Smoking will add more to your health woes if you’re a pipefitter, miner, insulation fitter, or individual who handles asbestos-containing materials daily. Hence, it would be wise to throw away your pack of cigarettes. In addition, smoking while working around asbestos will make you more prone to developing occupational diseases such as COPD, asthma, or mesothelioma.
Therefore, if you smoke and handle asbestos simultaneously, you’re shooting yourself in the foot. So, try cutting down your nicotine intake. Besides, quitting smoking will improve your overall health and reduce your risk of developing lung cancer.
Stay Away From Buildings Or Homes Constructed Between The 1950s And 1980s
Before taking the leap and buying a new apartment or house, federal and state law suggest inspecting your new location for the presence of asbestos in the area, especially if you’re moving into one constructed between the 1950s and 1980s. With that being said, you might find asbestos in older buildings or locations such as homes, firehouses, factories, schools, and offices. So, contact your local licensed contractor and ask them to inspect the premises to rule out asbestos presence.
Don’t Consume Food And Drinks Near Sources Of Asbestos
If you know for a fact that your workplace and home contain asbestos, ensure you don’t consume food items near asbestos-containing areas. Asbestos dust is not visible to the naked eye and can attach itself to food items. Furthermore, if you consume contaminated food, you will probably develop mesothelioma in the lining of your abdomen, known as peritoneal mesothelioma.
Therefore, ensure you stay a hundred miles away from asbestos-containing areas while drinking your beverage or eating your favorite snack. If you don’t, it can prove to be deadly for you in the long run.
The best way to avoid asbestos exposure is to remove this mineral entirely. After all, if your home or workplace doesn’t contain asbestos at all, your chances of developing asbestos-related diseases will reduce dramatically. It would be wise to follow the asbestos prevention tips mentioned in this article to guard yourself against unnecessary exposure.