Mesothelioma is caused by asbestos exposure. Exposure can occur when products or materials containing asbestos are handled in a way that causes the microscopic asbestos fibers to become airborne. When the fibers are inhaled, they can become lodged in the lining of the lung or abdomen, eventually leading to health conditions like mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis and other asbestos-related diseases.
There is no known cure for mesothelioma, and asbestos use has not been fully banned in the United States. However, mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases can be prevented by avoiding exposures to asbestos fibers.
To avoid asbestos exposure, follow these tips from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):
The first step you can take to avoid asbestos exposure is to stay alert and identify any areas in your home, workplace or other location that might contain asbestos products. Since asbestos was used heavily prior to the 1980’s, many buildings built before this point in time may still contain asbestos products such as floor tiles, siding, decorative paint, roofing, siding, cement, plaster, insulation and more.
Do Not Disturb It
After identifying the possible presence of asbestos, the next step is to avoid touching, moving or disturbing it. This includes keeping activities in areas with asbestos to a minimum, sealing or covering areas with damaged asbestos products, avoiding doing repairs or renovations on areas with asbestos products, avoiding sawing, scraping, sanding, vacuuming, stripping or leveling any asbestos products, and more. If you are concerned about asbestos in your home or building, you should contact an asbestos removal professional.
Bring in a Professional
Asbestos professionals are trained in the proper methods of asbestos handling and removal. Should your home or workplace contain asbestos products, contact an asbestos professional such as an inspector or contractor before you do anything else. Asbestos professionals can properly dispose of the materials without causing exposure to you or your loved ones.
The number of people who receive a mesothelioma diagnosis can be lowered if we work together to raise awareness about the dangers of asbestos exposure, common asbestos products and the steps we can all take to avoid releasing asbestos fibers into the air.