The health risk posed by asbestos cannot be understated; 641 Australians died from mesothelioma, a type of cancer caused by asbestos, in 2014 alone. Due to its use as a building material a few decades ago there are still traces of it in homes and offices today. It is imperative that you know how to shield yourself and others from the effects of asbestos. Here are some fundamental ways to prevent asbestos exposure.
1. Identify Asbestos in the Home or Workplace
If you want to prevent asbestos exposure you first need to start by finding out if it's present in your home or workspace. Being aware of it provides you with advance knowledge that can assist you to protect yourself . Buildings constructed before 1989 utilised asbestos and if you think there may be some around you places to check include:
A rule of thumb with asbestos is that if you aren't sure something contains it or not, assume that it does until its definitively proven that it doesn't. Remember that it's difficult to know for sure if something contains asbestos just by visually inspecting it.
2. Do Not Move or Disturb Asbestos Items
Once you successfully identify items that are made of or contain asbestos in the home or office, it is critical that you don't disturb them. When you move or otherwise disturb asbestos, it gets into the air. You are then at risk of inhaling it. Once it gets into your lungs, you could contract mesothelioma, a type of lung cancer or asbestosis. It can go undetected for decades while gradually affecting your breathing until it's too late. Keep any children away from asbestos in the home and teach them not to go near it.
3. Call a Professional For Asbestos Disposal
If you decide to remove asbestos from your home or office do not attempt to do it by yourself. Your lack of adequate training in handling asbestos will put you and those around you at significant risk of exposure. An asbestos abatement professional will test any items for the presence of asbestos. They will advise you on whether asbestos removal is recommended or not.
Asbestos is a dangerous material despite its usefulness. The best way to not be affected by it is to pre-empt any encounter with it in your daily routine be it at work or home.