Everything you need to know about asbestos and how to protect yourself

asbestos building

Are you being exposed to a silent killer which you are not aware of? This is asbestos which I am talking about. A toxic mineral which has killed thousands of innocent people over many years. And it’s still killing them. Because once you are exposed to asbestos it can take years before any health issues develop.

Although asbestos is now strictly regulated, years ago many industrial workers were unknowingly exposed to this harmful substance, breathing in the toxic dust when working. This resulted in them developing various health conditions including a rare cancer, called mesothelioma.

The problem today is that asbestos products still exist, you will still find them in various places, they have not just disappeared. In order to protect yourself you should learn more about asbestos and what you can do to avoid the worst happening to you. Since I am not an expert on this topic I have teamed up with experts from Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance who have answered all the asbestos related questions:

What is asbestos?

Asbestos is a natural fiber found underground that was used heavily in the construction industry because of its durability and resistance to fire and other chemical breakdowns.

Where is asbestos found?

In the UK, asbestos can be found in any building, industrial or residential, that was built or refurbished before 2000.

How dangerous is asbestos?

Asbestos kills about 5000 people each year, and about 20 tradesmen die per week as a result of exposure in the past.

When is asbestos dangerous?

It becomes dangerous when it’s friable, or disturbed and airborne. When the fibers are inhaled, they lodge themselves in the sensitive tissue of the lungs and the irritation can cause cancer.

How much asbestos exposure is harmful?

Any level of exposure is dangerous. If someone believes they’ve been exposed to asbestos, it’s important for them to see their doctor to assess their health.

How does asbestos affect your health?

Asbestos can cause a number of illnesses, including shortness of breath from an enlarged pleura (the lining of the lung), asbestosis, lung cancer, or mesothelioma.

What is mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer caused by asbestos exposure that can affect the lining of the lungs, heart, or abdominal cavity. It has a latency period of between 10 and 40 years, and is often discovered in its later stages.

How to identify asbestos?

The first step to identifying asbestos is to check when the building was built, and if it was built with construction materials that would have contains asbestos. If you are the owner of the building, you can contact a licensed professional to assess whether or not it should be removed. If you are not the owner, you may express your concerns to management.

How to remove asbestos safely?

It’s important to use a licensed professional who has experience with asbestos removal to complete the work. They are able to remove it safely and without possible exposure to others in the area.

Can you test for asbestos exposure?

There are DIY tests available but their results are often not guaranteed or accurate. Again, it’s recommended to use a certified professional to perform all testing and possible removal.

Important to keep in mind

Asbestos was continued to be used throughout the years despite overwhelming evidence and suspicion that it caused those who were exposed to it to become sick. It exists in residential and industrial buildings alike, putting at risk those who live there. Asbestos exposure is known to cause health complications or even cancer, with symptoms that can lie dormant for decades. If someone has been exposed to asbestos, it’s important that they seek medical attention to assess the possibility or extent of damage.

Click here for more information about asbestos related diseases, including mesothelioma. Also check out this website if you are seeking compensation for your illness related to asbestos.

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