From Engineering on May 18, 2009 in Building Materials
Photo credit: http://trends.move.com
You don’t hear much about asbestos anymore - except for the occasional and annoying “if-you-have-a-phone-then-you-have-a-lawyer” commercials warning about mesothelioma. Chances are you will never have to worry about asbestos in your life, but there is always that slim chance, and knowledge is power - if you know what to do if you are ever exposed to asbestos, then you stand a better chance of averting catastrophe.
Today’s housing market may be increasing risks of asbestos exposure. Many people are finding it much more appealing to renovate or remodel their homes, as opposed to making a new purchase. Some of these old homes contain asbestos in roof shingles, floor tiles, boilers, furnace ducts, and other materials. The problem isn’t so much that there may be asbestos in the house, the big deal is in removing it properly so that no one is exposed to it during the remodeling process.
If you think you may have been exposed to asbestos, you need to see a doctor immediately. Even if nothing ever comes from the exposure, having it noted on your medical record can be helpful in quickly and correctly diagnosing any ailments that may be related to asbestos in your future.
Ask your doctor about cancer screenings or asbestos screenings that may be able to detect any asbestos-related health concerns even before you detect anything. If you’re smoker, it’s highly recommended that you quit smoking (for the everyday reasons, but especially if you’ve been exposed to asbestos), as tobacco and asbestos can be a particularly harmful combination. The two factored together significantly increase the risk of lung cancer.
The next step is to keep on top of your inoculations, like annual flu and pneumonia shots, to help reduce the chance of lung infections, which are particularly devastating to people who have asbestos exposure.
Lastly, just do some research and make sure that you keep on top of all of the news about asbestos and health aspects related to it. Information can be your best ally.