What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a mineral fiber that has been used commonly in a variety of building construction materials for insulation and as a fire-retardant. Asbestos fibers, when inhaled, can cause a build-up of scar-like tissue in your lungs leading to a loss of lung function, Asbestosis, and often certain cancers or death. Many asbestos products have been banned due to increased risk of lung, chest, and abdominal cancers in exposed individuals.
Exposure to Asbestos
According to the National Cancer Institute, those most at risk for asbestos poisoning are: those involved in shipbuilding, asbestos mining and milling, manufacturing of asbestos textiles, insulation work in construction and building trades. It may also be an exposure risk for drywall removers, asbestos removal workers, firefighters, and automobile mechanics. Older homes may contain materials with asbestos and when renovating or demolishing there is risk of exposure, Here is a link to the information just provided as well as more helpful information about asbestos. It is important that those in trades that are exposed to asbestos shower after exposure because it has been shown that family members of those exposed to asbestos have a risk of developing mesothelioma.
Limiting Asbestos Exposure
According to OSHA, there is no safe level of Asbestos exposure. It has been seen to cause mesothelioma in some that were only exposed to asbestos for a few days. Asbestos exposure can be limited through Engineering controls: isolating sources and using ventilation systems; Administrative Actions: limiting workers’ exposure time, providing them with protective equipment, and providing showers; Personal Protective Equipment: proper respiratory protection and clothing.
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