Many American citizens are unaware that asbestos is all around them. During Global Asbestos Awareness Week, we want to spread the word on where asbestos might be found, so that the public might be better equipped to handle exposure - no matter where it happens.
In the Home
Asbestos was worked into many construction materials used prior to the 1980s. This makes any older home a potential hazard for asbestos exposure. Spray-on ceiling material, floor tiles, and more products that contain asbestos are commonly found in older homes, but are not dangerous unless they are falling apart or breaking down. Renovations, remodels, and DIY projects can all put homeowners at risk for asbestos-related diseases.
The World Health Organization estimates that over 107,000 individuals died in 2004 due to asbestos exposure in the workplace. There are many occupations at high risk for exposure on the job in America. While the Occupational Safety and Health Administration have gone to great lengths to keep U.S. employees safe at work, many companies violate rules, laws, and regulations regarding the handling of the substance. Not only do workers get exposed on the job, they can carry asbestos fibers home with them on their skin and clothing, which can be breathed in by their family members.
Parents often think school is the safest place for their child, but that is before they stop to consider the dangers of asbestos. Many of America's school buildings were built before asbestos was recognized as a hazard to human health, meaning the construction materials used to build them were likely to contain the deadly substance. Today, schools must have a plan for how to deal with asbestos if it becomes a problem, but some do not realize exposure is happening until it is too late.
These locations, where Americans spend their time on almost a daily basis, all have something in common: potential asbestos exposure. Did you know that some the most normal locations might be a hazard to your health?