The cause of mesothelioma is singular but deadly. Malignant mesothelioma, a fatal cancer that develops in the mesothelium in the lungs, results from unknowingly breathing in microscopic particles of asbestos.
An ounce of prevention they say is worth a pound of cure. And considering that there is no certain cure for mesothelioma at present, it would be better to avoid any incidents of asbestos exposure, the primary cause of mesothelioma. But how do you avoid inhaling something so tiny you can’t see it without a microscope? How do you protect yourself from asbestos?
Coping With Workplaces That May Cause Mesothelioma
People who might be exposed to asbestos at work include miners, factory workers, insulation manufacturers and installers, railroad and automotive workers, ship builders, and construction workers. If there is a risk of on-the-job exposure, protective equipment and safety procedures designed for work around asbestos should be provided by the employer.
The US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has strict standards for workplace asbestos exposure. You can find them on their website.
OSHA also stipulates that workplaces need to evaluate asbestos exposure risk to employees by testing breathing zone air samples that are representative of 30 minutes short-term and 8 hours of full day exposures.
How to Make Your Home Safe from Asbestos
Do you or does someone in your household work around asbestos? If so, extra precaution is necessary to avoid bringing home any traces of asbestos that might cause mesothelioma to develop. Use safety practices to minimize exposure. Here are some recommended by the Centers for Disease Control:
- leave soiled clothes at work
- change clothes before leaving work
- store non-work clothes away from work clothes
- shower before leaving work
- do not take tools, scrap, packaging, and similar items home
- launder work clothes separately
- prevent family members from visiting the work area
Even if no one works near asbestos, you may still be at risk if you live in an older home. The insulation may contain asbestos. A knowledgeable expert can check your home to find out if there is any asbestos and whether it poses any risk of exposure. This may mean testing the air for asbestos levels. If asbestos needs to be removed from your home, you should hire a qualified contractor. You should not attempt to remove mesothelioma-causing material yourself.