Employee well-being and health is critical in any workplace. Due to this, employees need to take appropriate safety measures when working around hazardous minerals and chemicals. That said, one of the most dangerous minerals employees have to deal with at the workplace is asbestos.
Not to mention, it might be present inside their home as well. The usage of this mineral was down to its affordability and insulation properties. It is used for various products, including concrete, paint, ductwork, flooring, roofing, insulation, and ceiling tiles.
However, when asbestos ages, it becomes airborne and gets easily ingested or inhaled by human beings through the lungs, causing a rare lung cancer type known as mesothelioma. Once contracted, it isn’t easy to cure at all. So, it would be best if you do whatever you can to stay away from this deadly mineral at all costs, be it inside your home or at work.
That said, listed below are a few precautionary measures to prevent the harmful effects of asbestos. Doing so will allow you to avoid the contraction of asbestos-related diseases such as mesothelioma and asbestosis. They are;
Do your best to find out if your home or workplace contains asbestos.
There are no records or databases that allow you to know whether your home or workplace contains asbestos. It means you will have to turn to your landlord or contractor to know if your workplace or home contains asbestos. The older your home or workplace building, the higher the chances of finding asbestos. That said, if your home or office was constructed around the 1980s, chances are the contractor used asbestos to insulate your walls, ceiling, and water pipes.
If you are unsure whether or not you are experiencing the symptoms of mesothelioma, consider getting a second opinion from an oncologist as soon as possible.
Acquire asbestos training.
If you know for a fact that your workplace or home contains asbestos, the first thing to do is to train yourself on how to handle it. For the workplace, ask your employer to provide you with asbestos training, which will enable you to identify asbestos-containing materials, health hazards associated with them, and ways to remove them safely.
That said, you should leave the asbestos removal to licensed removal experts who understand the risk associated with handling this mineral.
Don’t eat near sources of asbestos.
If you know your home or workplace contains asbestos, ensure you don’t eat near the area in question. Asbestos particles are invisible to the naked eye and can latch on to your food without you even noticing.
In addition, if you ingest asbestos-containing food, you will probably develop peritoneal mesothelioma, a cancer type that affects the stomach lining.
So, ensure you’re staying ten feet away from sources of asbestos while consuming your favorite snack or beverage, as doing so will prove to be deadly for your health and well-being.
Hire professional to dispose of asbestos.
Asbestos removal is something that you should do yourself. Taking a DIY approach with such a thing will harm your health. So, it would be best if your hired professional removal services to dispose of this mineral.
After all, these individuals do removals for a living and know of its harmful effects on a human being’s health and well-being. Moreover, they also follow Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines and utilize proper safety equipment to ensure effective removal.
So, go ahead and get in touch with your local asbestos removal service or professional to enable you and your family to breathe in fresh, asbestos-free air.
Utilize respirators around asbestos-containing material.
Asbestos particles usually enter the human body through inhalation. So, it is a no-brainer to use respirators around sources of asbestos. It will ensure you don’t breathe in asbestos particles unintentionally.
Moreover, if you’re a construction worker handling asbestos-containing insulation materials, ensure your employer provides you with the necessary safety equipment, including goggles, gloves, masks, respirators, and face shields to ensure you don’t ingest or breather in particles. That said, a full-body suit will also do the job.
Don’t disturb asbestos at all.
Avoid disturbing or touching potential asbestos-containing materials in your workplace and home. These include sources such as wall insulation, pipes, ceiling insulation, roofing, and much more. If you need a fix broken insulation material, contact a professional contractor or remodeling services to take care of it for you.
Moreover, if there is exposed asbestos at your workplace, immediately contact your employer and ask them to take care of it.
Use HEPA filters.
For individuals who want to know whether HEPA filters can remove asbestos from the air, the short answer to this question is Yes! HEPA filters can remove most of the dust particles present in the air, including asbestos particles.
As these particles range from point seven to point nine microns, HEPA filters can easily remove them from the air. Many workplaces use these filter types just for asbestos removal. That said, you must use air filters at multiple locations inside your house and workplace for maximum coverage and results.
But before you purchase air filters, consider getting in touch with an asbestos expert to know whether these air filters will be effective or not.
As asbestos ages, it becomes crumbly and brittle. Materials in such a state are hazardous to your health as a bit of mishandling can lead to asbestos particles dispersing into the air and entering your lungs. So, to ensure you and your family remain as safe and secure as possible, you should get rid of them immediately.
Moreover, hire a licensed abatement company for asbestos removal, as doing it yourself can increase the chances of exposure, leading to severe health issues in the future.