Asbestos is a natural substance that has numerous applications within the construction industry. Initially, it was used as a heat-resistant material in ships, aeroplanes and residential structures. Over the years asbestos has been linked to lung cancers, such as mesothelioma
. It has now been banned from use in construction in most countries in the world. Major health organizations warn people to stay away from asbestos in any form.
The residents need to increase asbestos awareness among them by taking a close look at this basic checklist. Being aware of asbestos exposure improves everyone's health in the immediate area.
• Be Observant
Asbestos can be hiding in numerous areas around any home built before 1980. Popcorn ceilings, furnace-door gaskets and cement wallboard are a few of the materials that house hidden asbestos
. Carefully examine these areas for asbestos, but do not touch the materials.
• Test the Materials
During those critical observations, a material might present itself as a harmful substance. Take note of its location and contact local authorities. When asbestos is suspected
, trained professionals can make an accurate determination. These tests typically include a sampling of the area. A removal plan becomes part of the project if the items turn out to be positive for asbestos.
• Learn About Undisturbed Asbestos
Some asbestos is a permanent part of the structure and is entirely undisturbed. In these cases, the substance isn't harmful as the asbestos remains as a solid material. If the fibres don't have the ability to break off and harm a person's respiratory system, there's no need to remove the material. A typical mesothelioma lawsuit
depends on airborne fibres that can damage the lungs.
ALSO READ "Air Pollution Journey Through Your Body"
Image sourced from Asbestos.com
• Don't Start a Project
If homeowners are planning on a structural project, don't begin the demolition phase. It is better to do it until the property is entirely clear of asbestos. Avoid the use of drills, sanding machines and other tools. Disturbing structural materials can cause the asbestos to break off. This may harm any nearby people including children playing in or around the home
• Observe Disturbed Asbestos
Make a note of any confirmed disturbed areas. Asbestos dust can be soaring with just one breeze moving through the home. Residents must let professionals fix or replace the materials with safe alternatives.
• Don't Clean the Area
Leave the area until the structure free from the asbestos. Trying to sweep or vacuum around the materials will only disturb them further. Any disruptions create harmful scenarios where asbestos fills the air.
• Vacate the Premises
Ideally, residents should leave the property when workers professionally remove the asbestos. Workers wear protective gear as they complete the project. Removal work can negatively impact anyone in the immediate vicinity. Be overly cautious in this situation. Spend the day at a friend's house or take a short vacation. The home will be perfectly clean afterwards.
If a person suspects asbestos
in any structure, contacting local authorities is critical. Trained personnel know how to remove the fibres with minimal impact on the surrounding environment. With each removal project, these harmful fibres will affect fewer people. Let's share asbestos awareness and it starts from you.
Please Note - Cambridge Masks are not suitable for working with asbestos, please purchase asbestos - specific respirator for dealing with this dangerous substance.