What to Do If You Have been Exposed to Asbestos

Asbestos products

If you think that you may have been exposed to asbestos in the past it is very important that your GP know it. But, it is not a reason to get panic. Most individuals do not develop serious or any sort of life threatening lung disease as the result of the exposure to asbestos. You need to always seek medical advice if you have the symptoms like coughing, chest pain, or feeling short of breath. You should talk to your general practitioners about each of the following:

  1. Any past or present occupational duties that may be linked to asbestos risks
  2. Living with someone that has worked in a job with the asbestos risk
  3. DIY or some other situations where you may have been exposed to asbestos
  4. Assuring that your exposure to asbestos is well documented in your medical records
  5. The symptoms that you are experiencing and how to relieve them
  6. Tests that you may need
  7. Whether you should see a specialist

Asbestos Products at Home

The versatility of asbestos has enabled it to be used across a variety of manufactories and industries. That, as a result, has made the substance contained in some 3000 products produced worldwide. Most houses that were built in the mid of 70s contain asbestos in some form. In fact, asbestos building products continued to be included in various house appliances, especially the house construction up to the early 80s. Asbestos was easy to work with, quite affordable, and had the added benefit of being heat resistant. There are in fact more than 3000 applications of asbestos use. As a corollary, a lot of workers have been and are exposed in literally every occupation, and most houses contain asbestos in certain form.

Asbestos was oftentimes sprayed onto walls and ceilings for a number of purposes. It was used also as a form of insulation around the pipes set behind radiators or wood-burning stoves. The substance was also used in Vinyl floor tiles as well as their backings, roofing, shingles, eaves, paint, and some plasters. Many routine repair jobs, renovation, and various maintenance activities- even simply putting in a new heating system- can seriously disrupt asbestos, which will eventually release millions and millions of fibers into your house, office, or school.

Asbestos cement products such as cladding and roofs as much as 11% to 20% of chrysotile and 5% to 10% amphibole asbestos (amosite or crocidolite). As a result of the continued exposure to meteorological influence such as sunshine, rain, frost and wind, as well as to industrial atmospheric pollutants, the surface of asbestos cement products will corrode and weathers. Therefore, cement particles and asbestos fibers are released from surface and will disperse in air and rainwater. Schools and residential housing were often clad with fibro cement sheeting (usually known as fibro) and roofed with corrugated asbestos cement products.

Some Common Domestic Applications of Asbestos include:

  • Hessian sacks that are used to carry asbestos used as the lining under tiles and carpet
  • Insulation on hot water pipes
  • Millboard behind stoves and heaters
  • Vinyl tiles
  • Asbestos cement sheeting in copious forms and styles on eaves and walls

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