Mesothelioma, a fatal cancer caused by asbestos exposure can be prevented in Florida’s homes. Mesothelioma occurs decades after asbestos dust enters a victim’s lungs. Although laws today restrict asbestos, the material was frequently used in construction and industry in the past. Many of the buildings and materials that once were made with asbestos are still in use today, so exposure can still occur.
More than 2,000 Americans are affected with mesothelioma annually, according to current statistics. Much exposure occurs in the workplace and at home. Exposure leads to many personal injury claims each year. Florida homeowners can help prevent this potentially fatal asbestos exposure by:
1. Learning how to spot asbestos. When bringing products into your home, check the labels to see whether they contain asbestos. Floor adhesives, vinyl floor tiles, textured paint, door gaskets, boilers, furnace ducts, fireproof gloves, and some cement roofing all may contain asbestos. If you are not sure what in your home may contain asbestos, consider having a healthy home audit done of your property. Look in your Yellow Pages under “asbestos removal” to find companies who can diagnose asbestos problems and can advise you how to eliminate these problems.
2. Check for quality of asbestos materials. If you do have asbestos materials in your home, a professional may tell you that it is safer to keep these asbestos products there (if they are not easily removable and are in good shape) rather than risk creating asbestos dust by removing them. If this is the case, make sure to periodically check for possible damage to these materials as well as wear and tear. If you see these materials breaking up, cracking, peeling, or otherwise becoming damaged, call a professional for a re-assessment right away.
3. If you work somewhere where asbestos dust is present, avoid bringing dust into your home. Your employer should provide you with a way to get rid of any asbestos products before you leave work for the day. Before entering your home, shower and change your clothing to ensure that you do not breathe in any of the asbestos fibers that may cling to you and your clothes.
4. Clean asbestos carefully. If you have asbestos ceiling tiles or floors, especially, and have been advised not to remove them, be careful how you clean these surfaces. Waxing or brushing these surfaces can release “microscopic fibers” of asbestos which can be breathed in.
5. If you see something in your home that you think is asbestos dust, do not touch it. Trying to sweep or vacuum it up can cause it to become airborne, and this is when it can be inhaled. If you leave the dust alone, your chances of breathing it in are smaller. Call a qualified professional to identify the dust and remove it.