5 Ways You Can Be Unknowingly Exposed to Asbestos
We encounter different minerals in everyday life. However, it becomes a problem when we get exposed to them in smaller quantities because there’s the chance that they can enter our bodies and cause adverse effects. One good example of a mineral that does this is asbestos. Asbestos is used to strengthen and fireproof building and construction materials. When inhaled, it can cause serious illnesses such as asbestosis, mesothelioma, and lung cancer. Since it’s a mineral that most people rarely observe, chances are you might have been exposed to asbestos before without knowing. In this article, we list just 5 ways you can be unknowingly exposed to asbestos.
#1 – Using Anything That Contains Talcum
Talcum, more commonly known as talc, is the softest mineral on Earth. It’s widely used in cosmetic and personal products, and it can even be found in some children’s toys. While talc isn’t inherently harmful, it is often close to asbestos deposits in nature, leading to cross-contamination.
For this reason, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are working together to review and possibly implement new regulations regarding talc usage.
#2 – Property Renovations
Another hotspot for asbestos is any property built before the 1980s since most homes used it for heat resistance. DIY enthusiasts nowadays may not know that they came into contact with asbestos, especially because asbestos becomes more dangerous as it ages. If structures with asbestos are cut, sanded, or drilled, the asbestos fibers can become airborne, which is a surefire way to inhale asbestos. Aside from that, asbestos can also be found in cement, drywall, floor tiles, and paint, all of which are construction products that are used in residential and commercial properties.
#3 – Vehicle Repair
Similar to home renovations, asbestos exposure is an occupational hazard for mechanics. High-end cars are partially to blame because most of them still use asbestos brake linings to this day, and there’s also the matter of aftermarket parts made with asbestos. It’s not just high-end cars, either. Brake and clutch repair work involves airborne asbestos techniques, meaning anyone in the vicinity can be exposed.
#4 – Industrial Applications
It’s a well-known fact that asbestos is used in various industrial applications, such as shipbuilding. Asbestos is a go-to product to build ships because of its ability to resist corrosion and high temperatures.
Aside from that, it’s also used in scientific equipment. College laboratories still use asbestos equipment, such as fume hoods, and many chemical plants still use asbestos sheet gaskets.
#5 – Encounters with Naturally-Occurring Asbestos
As mentioned earlier, asbestos deposits are found when mining certain minerals. To prevent unintended exposure, the U.S. Geological Survey has released several maps that show where bigger asbestos deposits can be found so that people can avoid them. Some of these places are in states such as California, Montana, and Washington.
Natural disasters can also play a role in spreading asbestos. Devastating calamities such as hurricanes and tornadoes do not discriminate when it comes to causing damage, meaning they can hit older homes with asbestos as well. As a result, the movement of these disasters also spread asbestos in the process.
Asbestos is a dangerous mineral that should be avoided at all costs. If you have any items in your home that contain them, it’s best to remove them if possible to be safe from exposure, which can potentially lead to severe illnesses.
If you’re looking for an asbestos removal company, choose CVE! We believe that the home is a safe space, so it should be free from potentially dangerous hazards that can cause the family harm. Contact us today to learn more!