Asbestos is something we’ve all heard about over the years. We know it’s banned but very few of us know what the risks are. After considering it, it’s obvious that this is something we all need to be aware of in our homes and workplaces. It could just kill us decades from now.
So, What is Asbestos and Why is it So Dangerous?
Asbestos is a building material. It used to be used because it’s resistant to fire. But nobody knew that it could be harmful. Only in 1964 was asbestos and cancer linked together by scientists. It led to the widespread purge of asbestos from buildings everywhere.
So why do we need to worry about something like this?
Asbestos is an interesting material because when it’s held within the walls or a ceiling it’s perfectly harmless. Only when it’s disturbed do the little fibers get in through our noses and mouths.
That’s what can eventually lead to mesothelioma cancer. But the symptoms only appear up to 50 years after you’ve been exposed to asbestos.
The big danger of asbestos is there’s no cure for mesothelioma. Doctors can only try to prolong your life and to make you as comfortable as possible.
Few people live longer than five years after diagnosis. Some people live less than a year, which is why smoking can seem not all bad when compared to asbestos exposure.
Mesothelioma is one of the most dangerous forms of cancer around for this reason.
Are You in Danger?
It depends on your environment. The main problem is that if you live in a house built before 1975 there’s a high chance of finding asbestos inside, unless it was treated before then. You’re also likely to find asbestos in old school houses and older office complexes. There’s also a high chance of exposure if you work in any of the following occupations:
● Insulation fitting.
● Asbestos removal.
● Factory workers.
Most blue-collar jobs, particularly if you’ve worked in them for a while, may lead to asbestos exposure. If you fall into any of these categories there’s a risk attached.
How Do You Protect You and Your Family from Asbestos?
First, don’t perform any renovations on a building that may have asbestos inside. Call a professional who can test for asbestos. They will take a sample and send it away to a lab. If you do have asbestos you’ll need to employ an expert to carry out any renovations.
Unless you’re doing this, there’s no need to worry about asbestos. There’s no danger when it’s undisturbed, even if it can be unnerving at times.
When it comes to your workplace, your employer has a duty to make sure that you are safe. They must tell you when you may be exposed to asbestos. They should also provide you with training and all the equipment you need to do your job safely.
If you’re covered in asbestos on the job, dispose of the clothing and decontaminate yourself with a shower. Again, your employer is responsible for providing these facilities.
Last Word – Things are Getting Better
It should be noted that asbestos awareness and treatments for prolonging the lives of mesothelioma sufferers are getting better. This means you’re highly unlikely to run into disturbed asbestos. It just requires vigilance and a willingness to go through the proper procedures.
Have you ever encountered asbestos before and, if so, how did you handle the situation?