Are Children More Vulnerable to Asbestos Exposure than Adults?

By Stan G. in News

For some years, there has been widespread worry that children are more vulnerable to asbestos fibers than adults. It has been suggested that they may be more susceptible to asbestos-related illnesses than adults because their lungs are still developing. With asbestos in older homes being such a touchy subject, this is definitely a delicate matter.

Generally, asbestos-containing materials pose no health hazards unless they are damaged, at which point mineral fibers are more likely to be released into the air. If asbestos-containing material is in good condition and is confined in such a way that fibers cannot be discharged, it may not be harmful. However, it is necessary to remain vigilant for indicators of asbestos deterioration and damage.

Studies Say that Children Are Particularly Vulnerable to Asbestos's Effects

Adults and children have distinct respiratory and immune system characteristics. Because children tend to live longer than their parents, they also have a higher lifetime chance of developing mesothelioma due to the disease's extended latency phase. According to some estimations, children in the same environment are five times more likely than adults to develop mesothelioma.

The lungs of children are more compact and have a greater surface area to volume ratio than adults' lungs. Additionally, children breathe quicker, which means they might inhale more asbestos particles with each breath.

Medical experts noted out that children's breathing rates are often faster than adults', resulting in their taking in more air. Additionally, young children frequently place their hands in their mouths, which can be harmful if their hands are contaminated with asbestos dust.

Children Can Be Exposed to Asbestos in Various Ways

  • In older homes, particularly those built between the 1940s and the 1980s. Ceiling tiles, vinyl floor tiles, spray-applied fireproofing, pipe and boiler insulation, acoustical and ornamental insulation, corrugated paper pipe wrap, and cement pipes are all examples of products that contain asbestos. Asbestos materials may become worn or damaged over time. When these materials are disturbed due to renovation projects or natural aging, small asbestos fibers are released into the air. Individuals may discharge asbestos particles inadvertently during home maintenance or renovation projects. Any member of the household is, therefore, in danger of inhaling and/or swallowing the fibers, including children. Another source of concern is the presence of asbestos transit pipes, which have been used underground to bring water to the home and in certain flue pipes in the past. This cement compound that contains asbestos deteriorates over time, and asbestos fibers from the inside of the pipe may be discharged into the drinking water that is passing through the pipe.
  • In a school that's been built prior to the 1980s. Despite the fact that many schools have undergone asbestos abatement and removal, many still represent a risk. Building materials such as tiles, water pipelines, roofing materials, and insulation might have significantly relied on asbestos fibers for heat resistance and fire protection. When asbestos fibers are disturbed - either via structural damage or renovation - children and adults alike can inhale the hazardous fibers.
  • Asbestos found in children's toys. A few years back, tests by an independent government-certified laboratory have found deadly asbestos fibers in several brands of crayons and in the fingerprint powder of a children's crime scene kit. The contamination of crime scene fingerprint kits is especially concerning because the instructions advise children to brush or blow away excess powder, releasing asbestos-contaminated powder into the air where it can be inhaled.
  • From their parents who unintentionally, brought asbestos home. Asbestos fibers can be brought home on a worker's clothes. Do you remember being a young child and running to the front door to give your father a hug when he got home from work every day? If your dad worked in construction or other major industries, then asbestos fibers could have been on his hair, clothes, and shoes.

If Asbestos Is Found in Your Home, Ensure That Children Are Not Exposed to It

There is no need to be concerned if materials such as insulation, tiling, and flooring are in good shape and out of reach of children. However, if building materials are degrading or if you are planning renovations that would disturb the materials, it is preferable to determine if they include asbestos prior to beginning the renovations and, if required, to have the materials professionally removed.

It might be difficult to determine the exact location of asbestos in your home, which is why it is recommended to have a certified asbestos inspection performed. Additionally, an air sample can be taken to determine the concentration of asbestos fibers in the air on your home.

When it comes to asbestos, the concern is the duration and intensity of exposure. Those who worked in the construction, shipbuilding, and mining industries are at a much higher risk. If you are struggling with a disease that developed as a result of workplace asbestos exposure, we will connect you with a skilled legal professional who may be able to get you the compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering.

Why Should I Test Products in My Home for Asbestos?

It is often impossible to tell whether asbestos is embedded in a material, as the fibers are too small to be observed with the naked eye. Exposure to asbestos is responsible for serious respiratory conditions, so thorough testing is required to ensure your home is asbestos-free.