Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that can be found in many building materials. It was used frequently in the past because it’s fire-resistant and insulates well. Because of this, asbestos exposure has been linked to serious health issues such as mesothelioma and asbestosis. If you’re concerned about asbestos exposure, you should know what it is and how to protect yourself from it.
What is asbestos?
Asbestos is a natural mineral that was used in many building materials, products and equipment. It can be found in homes, schools and other buildings as well as some newer cars. Asbestos can also be found in older products such as vinyl flooring or fireproof clothing.
Asbestos has been linked with several types of cancer including mesothelioma (lung cancer) and pleural mesothelioma (chest wall cancer).
Where is asbestos found?
Asbestos is often found in insulation, fireproofing and flooring materials. It’s also used in brakes and clutches. Asbestos can be found in many other products as well, including:
- Cement pipes and block walls
- Roofing shingles (shingles that contain asbestos are usually stamped with “ASBESTOS” on the back)
- Vinyl floor tiles
Health risks of asbestos exposure
Asbestos is a known carcinogen. It has been linked to mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis.
Asbestos exposure may also cause gastrointestinal cancers; eye diseases like cataracts or macular degeneration; laryngeal cancer (voice box); ovarian cancer in women who have been exposed while pregnant; and testicular cancer in men who were exposed at work.
Asbestos-related conditions typically develop years after the initial exposure occurred so it’s important for you to know if you’ve been exposed before taking any action against it
How can you protect yourself from asbestos?
- Avoid disturbing asbestos materials and use Asbestos Abatement
- If you are working with asbestos, wear protective gear.
- Don’t disturb asbestos materials and don’t eat, drink or smoke in areas where asbestos is present.
- Walk carefully on floors, stairs and ladders so that you don’t kick up dust from the floor which could contain asbestos fibers into the air that you breathe (this applies to areas where it’s not prohibited by law).
Safely removing and disposing of asbestos material is critical.
When you’re working with asbestos material, it’s important to have a professional abatement company and licensed asbestos removal contractor. These companies are trained in handling the hazardous material safely. They also provide personal protective equipment (PPE) for their workers, which includes:
- respirators that filter out harmful particles from the air;
- coveralls or jumpsuits; and
- gloves and boots made from synthetic materials that don’t allow any fibers to escape into the air during work activities such as sweeping up debris or removing insulation boards from ceilings.
Asbestos is a known carcinogen and has been linked to several types of cancer. It can also cause other health problems like lung disease and mesothelioma, which is a type of cancer that affects the lining of your lungs or stomach. Asbestos exposure can be especially dangerous for children, who may not know how important it is to avoid the material until it’s too late. If you think there may be asbestos in your home or workplace, contact us today so we can help keep everyone safe!