5 Asbestos Misconceptions Which May Have Dire Health Consequences
Asbestos is not something you would like to find in your house, since it is known to cause severe health problems, from shortness of breath to lung cancer. Being exposed to this dangerous mineral can be extremely harmful and knowing how to handle it safely is thereby very important.
Unfortunately, the fear of asbestos exposure has resulted in a lot of misconceptions regarding the correct managing of this mineral over the years. Therefore, we compiled a list of the most widespread false ideas surrounding asbestos in the hope of helping you understand the real threat.
All asbestos-containing products have been banned
This is one of the most common misbeliefs. Some items, such as insulation and fireproofing materials, have indeed been banned, but certainly not all of them. Numerous asbestos-containing products which were manufactured before the 1970s are still produced nowadays, primarily building materials. However, new uses of asbestos are forbidden.
Exposure to low levels of asbestos is safe
You may think exposure to low levels of asbestos or short-term exposure is not dangerous. The truth is that all kinds of exposure can be harmful. Accidentally inhaling or swallowing even the least amount of asbestos fibers might have a negative effect on your health. The more often you come in contact with asbestos, the greater the likelihood of developing serious diseases like asbestosis or mesothelioma.
Asbestos-containing products are always dangerous
Fortunately, this is a wrong misconception. Products which contain asbestos only become dangerous when they are damaged. If they are in poor condition, they can release asbestos fibers in the air, which are very harmful to the human body. Otherwise, they are relatively safe to be around.
Removal is mandatory
Although it is recommended to avoid using asbestos in construction and renovation at any cost, removing the preexisting asbestos-containing products in your home is not always necessary. Sometimes, it is better to leave them undisturbed, as they pose little risks to the health of inhabitants if they are in good condition. A better and also safer alternative is to encapsulate these products instead of removing them in order to avoid the release of toxic fibers in the air.
If I don't have any symptoms after the asbestos exposure, I'm not sick
While you will not feel the negative effects of asbestos right after exposure, you may experience symptoms over time. The symptoms of asbestos-related diseases take decades to develop and when they show up, it is often too late. Therefore, if you were exposed to asbestos in any way, we strongly advise you to regularly visit a doctor, who will be able to tell for sure whether your health was affected.
To sum it up, it is very important not to get fooled by these misconceptions, as it could lead to unpleasant consequences. Stay informed and be aware of the real dangers asbestos exposure implies. Last but not least, always contact a professional removal company if you suspect the presence of this harmful mineral in your house.