Though the inherent dangers of asbestos are largely known today and are directly linked to the rare and often fatal form of cancer, mesothelioma, asbestos may still be prevalent in a wide variety of common materials including but not limited to the following:
Vinyl floor tiles, adhesives and ceiling tiles
Brake pads and other car parts
The dangers of asbestos are real and should be taken seriously, especially whenever you are considering getting involved in a home improvement or demolition project.
Do not take the dangers of asbestos for granted.
“Do not take the dangers of asbestos for granted.” This warning comes from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) after they admitted to relaxing some of their own rules and regulations for how to handle asbestos safely.
The 1960’s saw a wide and sweeping range of health problems that linked asbestos exposure with developing asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma, and this eventually led the EPA to begin regulating how asbestos should be safely handled.
People today are now more aware that once asbestos is airborne, the fibers can lodge in the lungs, triggering mesothelioma even decades after exposure.
Despite the dangers associated with asbestos exposure and mesothelioma, beginning in 1999, the Environmental Protection Agency considered alternative methods to “augment” the Asbestos National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants, the act that governs asbestos handling during demolition.
The alternative methods considered, including the Fort Worth Method and the Alternative Asbestos Control Method which include leaving some or all of the asbestos-containing material in place and allowing demotion equipment to shred it. The material is wetted during demotion in an attempt to limit the release of fibers and lower the risk of mesothelioma. The lingering question is: “Does it work?”
Making Sure the Message Gets Through
In a potential response to the unasked question above, EPA Inspector General Arthur A. Elkins, Jr. recently stated that such methods such as wetting material during demolition still have the potential to stir up airborne asbestos and should, therefore, not have been considered. EPA’s Office of Research and Development ended the research project in July 2011 but apparently not all contractors have heard the message.
In recent years, video surveillance of demolition sites show government employees and contractors working without the required protective gear, thus putting themselves at an increased risk for mesothelioma as well as other asbestos-related diseases. Perhaps even more alarming is that these workers can spread asbestos dust from their clothes and expose members of the public to these dangerous fibers.
Asbestos Dangers in Buildings Today
In the United States, there are more than 2,000 cases of mesothelioma that are diagnosed each year. Additionally, tens of thousands of older homes and public buildings still contain asbestos. To reduce the risk of mesothelioma, homeowners should hire professional asbestos removal teams to remove asbestos prior to demolition or remodeling. If you’re not sure whether or not your home contains asbestos, hire a professional to take a closer look.
Disclaimer: The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this article.
Content distributed on behalf of http://www.survivingmesothelioma.com with their express permission. This is the only website where this important book is available for free. It is written by Paul Kraus who was diagnosed with mesothelioma more than a decade ago and is still enjoying life today!
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