I was asked to share some facts about asbestos with you for this week since it is Asbestos Awareness Week. We all know asbestos is a carcinogen but there are some facts that you may not know:
What is asbestos?
Asbestos is a naturally-occurring microscopic mineral that can be a health hazard when it’s in a friable, or crumbled or broken, state. When asbestos becomes friable, it becomes airborne and can be easily inhaled. When asbestos is inhaled, it’s sharp and rigid fibers stick in soft tissue in the respiratory system and can lead to the development of mesothelioma cancer.
Where is asbestos found?
Asbestos is a mined mineral, but it can be found above ground naturally too. Because of it’s desirable commercial uses, asbestos was used liberally in the construction of homes, schools and other commercial and industrial buildings. Asbestos was once used in over 3000 consumer products, including common household items, some of which may still be in use today.
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Top 7 Reasons to Prevent Asbestos Exposure: 7 Reasons for 7 Days
- Asbestos is a proven human carcinogen and there is no safe level of exposure.
- Asbestos fibers can cause asbestosis, lung and gastrointestinal cancers, and an aggressive cancer called mesothelioma. The average life expectancy of a mesothelioma patient is six – twelve months.
- Asbestos diseases have a 10 – 50 year latency period from initial exposure to development of disease.
- Chrysotile asbestos accounts for nearly 95% of asbestos mined and exported today. The top five asbestos producing countries are Russia, China, Brazil, Kazakhstan, and Canada.
- 55 countries have banned asbestos, but the U.S. and Canada have not.
- The World Health Organization estimates that 107,000 workers die annually from exposure to asbestos. Asbestos has been mined and used in a broad range of products, materials, and applications including construction, insulation, shipyards, and many other industries.
- Asbestos fibers can be nearly 700 times smaller than human hair and are odorless, tasteless, indestructible fibers that can remain suspended in the air for seconds.
What can you do to support Asbestos Awareness Week?
- SHARE! Share information about the dangers of asbestos with your family, friends, and loved ones over dinner, on your social media accounts, on your website, etc.
- Follow along with the events of the 11th Annual ADAO International Asbestos Awareness Conference on April 17-19.
- Learn about the Alan Reinstein and Trevor Schaefer Toxic Chemical Protection Act, an act that will provide greater protection to citizen from dangerous toxins (including asbestos), and tell your senator to vote Yes.
- Donate to the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization to invest in asbestos education, advocacy and community support today.
- Join the conversations on social media by using the hashtag #AsbestosAwarenessWeek
Please share this important info with at least one person.
Thank you friends –