Mesothelioma is a cancer caused by exposure to asbestos, a product commonly used in the manufacturing industry. Often those who have been exposed think it’s too late to avoid developing Mesothelioma or other health problems. There are several things a person can do to lower the risk of developing cancer or other health issues as a result of asbestos exposure. Here are some tips from Calgary Water & Flood.
Asbestos can still be found in many places we work and live in so educating yourself is a good place to start. By simply being aware of your surroundings you can help prevent exposure and lower your risk of health problems or worse cancer.
Widely used in manufacturing throughout most of the 20th century asbestos was added to numerous products. Although extremely toxic when airborne it was used in many building materials and still present in homes and factories to this day. Workers in industries such as shipyards, power plants, chemical plants and the automotive industry are still at risk of exposure. The danger of asbestos exposure was kept a secret with some companies hiding the facts from their workers. Public awareness of the health effects has changed the outlook of those employed in these industries today.
Prevention at work
Regulations are now in place that have clear guidelines for acceptable levels of asbestos in the air at worksites. Health standards require employers to protect workers from asbestos exposure and include the following.
- Performing air monitoring and keeping records
- Complete regular assessment of asbestos risk
- Communicate asbestos risk to workers
- Use proper work practices to limit exposure
- Offer respiratory protection if limits are exceeded
- Provide training in the dangers of asbestos exposure
- Provide medical surveillance to workers exposed to asbestos
How to protect yourself from asbestos at work
Even with the improvements made over the years some employers may not be doing enough. If you work in an occupation where asbestos exposure may occur there are steps you can take to limit your risk of exposure. These include asking your employer about possible health risks, never saw, drill, sand or scrape or otherwise disturb asbestos containing materials. Leave any clothing or shoes that may be contaminated at the workplace. Don’t sweep, dust or vacuum asbestos debris and dispose of asbestos materials according to provincial and federal regulations.
Prevention in the home
While most people will never encounter asbestos in the home every home built before the 1970’s do contain asbestos building materials. If you do, you may want to call an asbestos removal company. Some of the materials that could contain asbestos are: attic insulation, floor tiles, wrapping on pipes or electrical wire, popcorn ceilings, roof shingles and tar, drywall and drywall glue as well as joint compound. If you discover asbestos in your home be sure to have it removed by a company that specializes in it’s removal.