It’s Asbestos Awareness Day. You might be wondering why there is still such a day – we don’t use asbestos in building anymore. But unfortunately, lots of people every year are diagnosed with asbestos-caused cancer. In fact, over 5,000 workers die from past asbestos exposure each year.
Asbestos hasn’t been used in construction since 1999, and the two most dangerous forms have been banned since 1985. But it is still present in many buildings across the UK, including ceilings and walls.
If you don’t work with asbestos in your job, the risk of you getting cancer is significantly lower. But there are still steps you should take to reduce your risk of exposure to asbestos. If you know you will be around asbestos fibres if you’re having it removed, you should still be wary.
Find out how to protect yourself from asbestos this Asbestos Awareness Day.
1. Use protective clothing
If you work with asbestos, it’s imperative that you wear protective clothing. It will prevent you from coming into contact with the fibres on your clothes and skin.
You should never enter a worksite dealing with asbestos if you’re not qualified to do so, but if you ever do you must wear the appropriate clothing.
2. Wear a mask
Asbestos fibres do their damage by clinging to the lining of your lungs when you breathe them in. This causes scarring and can lead to methesolima, which is a form of lung cancer. That’s why it’s absolutely vital that you wear a mask when you’re dealing with asbestos.
3. Keep away from areas where you may be exposed
As I said above, you should never enter worksites without the proper training, but you should keep away from high-risk areas. Boilers can actually contain asbestos, so if you work in a place with a boiler room it’s best to keep away.
4. Remove clothing you wore in a high-risk area
Never go home in the protective gear you wore on site if you work around asbestos. You could expose your family to asbestos fibres that are left on your clothes and shoes that you wore to work.
5. Do your research before buying a property
If you’re looking into buying a home or building that you want to renovate, make sure you get a survey done to determine whether there is any asbestos in the building. It’s very likely that a property could contain asbestos somewhere if it hasn’t been touched in the last 30 years.
So this Asbestos Awareness Day, make sure all your friends and family are aware of the dangers. Never try to remove asbestos yourself – always call a professional.