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Asbestos Exposure

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that was once used in thousands of consumer, industrial and construction products. Despite its uses, asbestos is a known human carcinogen and the National Cancer Institute suggests that there is no safe level of asbestos exposure (1). The most common asbestos-related diseases include mesotheliomalung cancerasbestosis and gastrointestinal cancer.While the dangers of asbestos are well-known, this “silent killer” often remains hidden. Whether it’s in our homes, schools or offices, asbestos potentially could be lurking everywhere. It’s important that we remind the public about this unseen danger and help victims of asbestos-related diseases. The image above puts this problem into perspective.

Help others learn more about how to avoid asbestos and prevent mesothelioma by sharing the information below.

silent_killer

Asbestos is potentially lurking everywhere

Many Americans don’t know what asbestos is or where it can be found, let alone that exposure
to this dangerous material can result in the development of an asbestos-related cancer such as mesothelioma. We’ve been living for nearly 50 years with evidence, studies and research about the dangers of asbestos, and yet it continues to be manufactured, used and exported around the globe.

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between 1979-2001, from diseases including mesothelioma, asbestosis, lung cancer and gastrointestinal cancer

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Asbestos exposure can occur at home or in the workplace

workers

At Work

One in every three deaths from occupational cancer is estimated to be caused by asbestos.

house

At Home

In addition, it is estimated that several thousand deaths annually can be attributed to exposure to asbestos in the home.

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There’s no safe level of asbestos exposure

On average, there are 30 asbestos related deaths a day in the U.S. (4)

Where asbestos typically is found in homes

If you happen to live in a house that was built before the 1970s, there’s a good chance that asbestos was used in its construction. Even if your house was built since then, asbestos may still be found in some areas.

home

Also found in…

Asphalt Floor Tiles
Boiler Insulation
Brake Linings
Ceiling Tiles
Clutch Facings
Corrugated Stone
Curtains
Fireplace Logs
Fusebox Insulation

Gaskets
Heat Reflectors
Insulating Blankets
Lamp Sockets
Linoleum Backing
Patching Fiber
Permaboard
Refrigerators
Spackle
Sponge Blocks
Spray Fireproofing
Stone Sheathing
Stove Lining
Taping Compounds
Textured Paint
Toasters
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Manufacturing

Machinists
Millwrights
Paper Mill Workers
Sanders
Textile Operators
Tool Makers
Weavers

Construction

Appliance Installers
Bricklayers
Carpenters
Demolition Workers
Drywallers
Electricians
Foremen
HVAC Workers
Insulation Installers
Painters
Plumbers
Roofers
Tile Workers

Tradesman

Blacksmiths
Firefighters
Mechanics
Pipefitters
Police Officers
Shipbuilders
Welders

Industry

Coal Miners
Forge Operators
Iron Workers
Power Plant Workers
Railroad Workers
Refinery Workers

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35 million buildings

An asbestos-containing insulation product called Zonolite is believed to be in up to 35 million homes, schools and office buildings.(5)

Common asbestos products, past & present

Despite the grim realities associated with asbestos use, products that used asbestos fibers were touted as miracles of modern science and safe and effective alternatives to more traditional products.

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asbestos_sample

What to do if you think you’ve found asbestos (6)

Asbestos is difficult to find, identify and safely handle. Don’t attempt to remove it yourself. Most asbestos abatement professionals agree that unless the asbestos material is considered “friable” — that is, easily broken or damaged — it is safer to leave it in place than to remove it.

SOURCES:

  1. http://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/substances/asbestos/asbestos-fact-sheet#q3
  2. http://www.ewg.org/asbestos/maps/government_data.php
  3. minerals.usgs.gov/minerals/pubs/commodity/asbestos/mcs-2012-asbes.pdf
  4. www.ewg.org/sites/asbestos/facts/fact1.php change to www.ewg.org/asbestos/facts/fact1.php
  5. http://www.alewife.org/grace/2002_2_24_stlouispostdispatch_zonolite.pdf
  6. http://home.costhelper.com/asbestos-removal.htm