If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma...
There are several things you must know about Asbestos!
Even though you may not see it or have basic knowledge about it, you must have heard of it from here and there. Remember the commercials from lawyers that started with "If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma..."? That's because asbestos was widely used in just about everything and long term asbestos exposure can lead to serious disease like asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other cancers.
Mini history lesson about asbestos…
Asbestos mineral fibers can be found in rocks and soils and these mineral fibers were widely used due to its resistance to heat and corrosion and its durability. Industrially, it was used starting in the 19th century, and it wasn’t until 1920s that people started to look into the health effects of asbestos. By the 1930s, there were regulations placed to limit asbestos exposure in the workplace.
Despite asbestos's serious health hazards, there is no national ban on asbestos in the USA. U.S. government has controlled the use of asbestos since 1970s and it is not mined or process anymore. Now, asbestos is partially banned and stricter regulations have been put in place to improve worker safety when working with asbestos. However, it is still possible to find asbestos-containing products at a store. Some states have placed stricter asbestos regulation and laws; New Jersey is the first state to ban asbestos in October 2018. New Jersey has banned the sale or any distribution of asbestos-containing products.
Where can you find Asbestos?
Asbestos-containing materials were widely use in construction, manufacturing, shipping, automotive parts and even textiles. These are some example of items that may contain asbestos:
Insulation in wall and attics
Vinyl tiles for floors
Blankets that protect hot waterpipes
Fabrics that resist heat
Asbestos only becomes hazardous when it is disturbed. When asbestos is disturbed, the fibers become airborne. Those fibers are too small for you to see, but they are easy to breathe in. Over time, they can build up in your lungs and lead to serious disease. It could take decades before you notice any symptoms related to asbestos exposure. Asbestos fibers remains in the human body forever once they are inhaled or ingested. The body cannot flush out asbestos due to its sharp needle-like nature.
How to avoid asbestos exposure?
Asbestos is a natural mineral, and everyone has been around it at some point. You can find asbestos in air, water and soil. However, you are exposed at pretty low levels, and that does not lead to long term health effects!
Remember! Asbestos only becomes hazardous when its disturbed. When buildings are demolished or homes are being remodeled, that is when you can disturb asbestos-containing materials and release asbestos fibers into the air you breathe. Before starting a renovation project, demolition of a building, or any activities that might disturb asbestos-containing materials, an inspection by certified inspector to identify asbestos-containing materials is required. If asbestos is found, you will need a certified expert to deal with the removal of the asbestos-containing material. Please don’t ever discard asbestos yourself!
After all, unless you work directly with asbestos on regular basis, the chance for you to get asbestos related diseases are very low! If you suspect that you have been exposed to asbestos, we are here to help you! Safety Nest can provide asbestos assessments for you and provide next steps based on the results of the assessment.
And now, an obligatory mesothelioma ad: