How to Prevent Asbestos Exposure

Asbestos is a collection of six naturally occurring minerals composed of fibers known for their heat-resistant and insulation properties. Asbestos has been used in manufacturing consumer goods due to its durability and resistance to chemical damage. However, with time, the detrimental impacts of asbestos surfaced. A lot of countries have debarred the use of asbestos products. Therefore, many of the products originally containing asbestos are not in use today. However, loopholes in legislation and the absence of strict control measures give a leeway to companies to use asbestos in some of their products. 

How to Prevent Asbestos Exposure
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Frequent exposure to asbestos can cause lung cancer, pleural plaques, and mesothelioma. Among these illnesses, mesothelioma is the deadliest of all, with no cure found so far. It is the cancer of the linings of the internal organs such as the abdomen, lungs, heart, and testes. 

Every year, 3000 people get mesothelioma diagnoses in the US only. Therefore, preventing asbestos exposure is a must to avoid getting mesothelioma. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent asbestos exposure and mesothelioma. However, to prevent asbestos exposure, you must know how it reaches your body. Below, find the types of asbestos exposure to amplify your preventive efforts. 

Occupational exposure to asbestos 

Many asbestos-containing products are still in use in various industries. Therefore, primarily, workers get exposed to asbestos fibers on the worksite. Some asbestos-containing products include cement, insulation, piping, ceiling tiles, textured coating, floor tiles, textiles, composites, etc. You can learn more about asbestos-containing products with the help of various resources present online. 

Workers most prone to contact asbestos-containing products include boiler workers, power plant workers, construction workers, mechanics, chemical plant workers, etc. Workers at these sites may inhale asbestos fibers, allowing them to reach their internal organs through the air passage. Workers also come in contact with asbestos when renovating and demolishing old structures built before the 1980s, when the use of the asbestos-containing product was widespread. 

Secondhand exposure to asbestos

Industrial workers can cause mesothelioma in their families. These workers bring home asbestos fibers on their clothes, shoes, tools, and bodies, making their loved ones victims of secondhand exposure. In most instances, secondary asbestos exposure is considered serious as primary exposure. 

Environmental exposure 

People who are unrelated to any hazardous industries or use asbestos-containing products can get mesothelioma when they inhale asbestos-containing air. This mainly happens to people living in areas where asbestos is mined and is found naturally. 

Now that we know how you can be exposed to asbestos, it is only fair to know about the preventive measures. Read on to learn about them.

Adequate training of industrial workers

Industrial workers are most prone to asbestos exposure and getting mesothelioma. Therefore, people in these industries must have extensive training to work around asbestos-containing products. Proper training can help them keep themselves and their families safe. 

Before signing up for work, workers must understand the demands of their work and the risk of mesothelioma associated with their job. Moreover, before hiring the workforce, management must ensure their willingness to adhere to safety guidelines and training needs. 

Don’t stay in your workplace unnecessarily

If your workplace is full of perils and chances of asbestos exposure, limit your stay and leave as soon as your work ends. Do not eat, drink, and sleep around places where work of different kinds is actively taking place. If you suspect any health concerns, don’t hesitate to talk to your supervisor or halt the work until the matter resolves. 

According to some studies, smoking and asbestos exposure can amplify your chance of mesothelioma. Therefore, make your worksite a “no smoking” zone. 

Take a shower and put on clean clothes

You cannot be neglectful about the safety of your loved ones. When you leave for home after work, leave your clothes, shoes, and the PPE used during work on the worksite. Before meeting your kids, take a shower and put on clean clothes. All these precautions are needed to prevent your family from secondhand asbestos exposure. 

Respect the safety guidelines 

There are guidelines from Occupational Safety and Health Administration about preventing asbestos exposure. The administration has provided safety guidelines for the general, construction, and shipyard industry. The management of these industries is required to ensure asbestos-free air for their workers to breathe into. They must maintain asbestos levels below 0.1 fibers per cubic centimeter in the air. 

Use personal protective gear in the workplace

A supervisor must provide all the equipment and protective gear to their workforce. They should keep a strict check on workers, ensuring that no one flouts the rule of using PPE. On the other hand, workers should be careful too. Before getting exposed to hazardous material, they should wear face masks and shields, eye protection, gloves, etc. 

Asbestos does not pose any health risk in its intact and integrated form. However, if you disperse the fibers, they can easily get a passage to the inside of your body. So, when working on the old buildings, do not saw, scrap, tear or cut the structure without proper safety arrangements. Also, make sure your protective equipment is unspoiled without any cuts or tears and provide no inlet for the hazardous fibers. 

Use asbestos-free soil and rocks landscaping

When at home, make sure to test the soil for the presence of asbestos before using it for landscaping in your gardens. Rocks may also have asbestos, so follow the same criteria before using them in your house. 


The danger of asbestos exposure is real, especially around old buildings. Today, the construction material for building the new structures might have improved immensely. However, many asbestos-containing products are still in use. Construction and other industrial workers are closest to the risk. Therefore, they must make an effort to know about health and safety hazards at their workplace. They should be aware of the safety legislation and take action if their employers infringe on safety guidelines.

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