How to Protect Yourself from Asbestos and Prevent Mesothelioma

By Stan G. in Asbestos

Once they have been exposed to asbestos, most people think that it is too late to try to avoid developing asbestos-related diseases, like mesothelioma. This is just a misconception as there are various ways to lower the cancer risk.

It is very important for everyone to know how to protect themselves from asbestos because it still can be found in the places we live. Raising awareness can lead to the prevention of asbestos exposure, which might cause health issues.

Moreover, during the 20th century, toxic asbestos has been added to a large number of products. Most of these products are construction materials that can still be found in people's homes.

Prevention of Asbestos Exposure at Home

Houses built before 1970 most probably have various locations where asbestos-containing materials can be found. Asbestos use was very popular and this is why it is essential to know how people can keep themselves and their loved ones safe from asbestos exposure and its dangers.

The most dangerous exposures usually happen when renovations are made, as this leads to the disruption of asbestos. Improper removal of asbestos, which is safe if it is in good condition, can also put people's health at risk.

Possible asbestos-containing in-home products:

  • Floor tiles
  • Attic insulation
  • Joint compounds
  • Roof tiles
  • Wrapping on pipes

Damaged asbestos that has become dry and crumbling is referred to as friable asbestos. This is the most dangerous form of asbestos because the fibers can become airborne and easily be inhaled. Therefore, the items which contain friable asbestos should be immediately removed from the house, but only by a licensed abatement company.

Family Protection

People renovating houses built before the 1970's should be aware of the possibility of asbestos exposure. As there is no way to simply determine whether a product contains asbestos or not, having some samples tested in a certified laboratory is recommended.

Asbestos protection tips:

  • Do not perform renovations in your home if you suspect the presence of asbestos
  • Ask your real estate agent if your house contains asbestos
  • Try to check known asbestos-containing items for signs of wear on a regular basis
  • Keep family members away from the areas of the house where asbestos is present
  • Do not try to remove asbestos yourself

Unless they are disturbed, asbestos-containing materials are almost harmless. Dangerous exposures only happen when people try to remove the contaminated items by cutting or drilling them. The easiest way for people to keep themselves safe and protected from asbestos is to consult a professional who has the necessary knowledge on this topic.

Keep Track of Your Health Modifications

Regularly monitoring their health state is extremely important for those who have been exposed to asbestos and still have not developed an illness which is related to asbestos. Asbestos-related diseases usually take 15 to 50 years after the first exposure to arise.

Mesothelioma is the most severe asbestos-related affection and it can be prevented or detected early respecting the following steps:

  • Review your health condition on a regular basis. If you notice any changes or new symptoms, share them with your doctor.
  • Get a blood sample tested for mesothelioma. This testing can help detect mesothelioma before symptoms start to appear. It is called Mesomark and can be administered in the doctor's office.
  • Eat healthily. A balanced diet can lower the risk of developing mesothelioma. Antioxidants are very important in helping the body to repair itself and fight diseases.

The health condition of the people who have been exposed to asbestos can also be monitored using X-ray tests or a pulmonary function test which measures how well the lungs are working. Doctors might recommend getting these tests done even though their patients experience no symptoms of the disease, just to make sure that the illness will be detected in its early stages. This way, they ensure their patients more treatment options and an improved quality of life.

Smoking is another key factor when it comes to asbestos-related conditions. People exposed to asbestos should immediately quit smoking as it damages the lungs and increases the risk of developing cancer. The risk of developing mesothelioma, however, has not been proven to be increased by smoking.

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.