We all know that asbestos can be a harmful substance when exposed to it for long periods of time. In days gone by, asbestos was a common material that had many uses in home construction and the military. While it may not have been obvious at the time exactly how damaging asbestos could be to people, it was known that using this substance could damage people’s health.
The use of asbestos has given rise to two main conditions linked to exposure, mesothelioma cancer, and asbestosis. Both of these are severe conditions, and mesothelioma cancer is terminal.
How Much Exposure Is Too Much?
Prolonged exposure over the years is only apparent years after. Symptoms and damage can occur in people anytime from 10 to 50 years down the one, and the severity of their symptoms depends on the type of exposure they had. In 2016, asbestos exposure resulted in nearly 40,000 deaths. Yet, it is still legal for use in the US, although fewer and fewer companies use this hazardous material.
It is important to remember that short-term exposure leads to little or no risk. It takes consistent exposure over long periods to cause damage. Coming into contact with it via odd tasks around the home isn’t a major risk. Still, you are advised to remove yourself from the presence of asbestos and contact a professional asbestos removal company to evaluate the situation and clean yourself, your clothing, and your equipment.
In many cases, you might even know you have been exposed to asbestos, and you can live in your home unaware of the presence of asbestos until you become ill as you are older. If you become ill and fear prolonged exposure to asbestos when you were younger, you need to know the mesothelioma cancer symptoms and the symptoms of asbestosis. Your doctor can confirm this via a series of evaluations and medical tests.
What Is Classed As Significant Exposure?
A natural disaster can unearth asbestos that was previously hidden if homes containing the substance are damaged. If you are undertaking renovations on your home and aren’t using protective clothing, you could be at risk. Substantial exposure can occur from damaged products containing asbestos, poorly ventilated areas, or the asbestos is damaged, scraped, drilled, or smashed. Many people are unaware of what asbestos looks like and come into contact with it unintentionally.
Once the asbestos is damaged in this way, you risk inhaling the particles, where significant exposure occurs, and the damage can be done. Effects will not occur instantly or even at all, as this exposure harms not everyone. The main damage comes from being in the presence of raw material time and time again over long periods with or without protection. The common type of asbestos most people come into contact with is white asbestos, which is particularly harmful; however other types exist and are damaging.
Protecting yourself against this type of damage means knowing what materials are likely to have been made using asbestos and the age of the products you are dealing with – it is more common in older products or houses. Using protection to stop you from inhaling particles and keeping space well ventilated can reduce the risk. Although the risk from one-time exposure or home renovations is low, it is better to be safe than sorry.