Asbestos In The Home: What To Do If You’re Affected
Asbestos exposure is one home issue that many families don’t even consider! It’s rare, but it does happen, and it’s important to take action when it does.
One of the main causes of asbestos exposure in the home is negligence on the part of consumer products companies. Often, it’s impossible to protect you and your family from the risks, because you may simply be sold a risky product! Asbestos can lurk in things like artificial ash for fireplaces, vinyl floor tiles or even your roof shingling.
If products like these aren’t thoroughly checked, then they’re a risk. Our homes are full of these products, and that makes the chances of asbestos quite high! In fact, your home has a 50 percent chance of hiding asbestos, so don’t dismiss the threat.
So, after an asbestos strike, it’s important to take action. Whether you choose to take the legal fight to the company responsible, or focus on improving your home, it’s important to act fast!
What do I do if my family’s health is affected?
After asbestos exposure, there’s not much you can do to prevent the chances of mesothelioma. It’s inevitable, but there are some things you can do to help you attain peace of mind.
For starters, product manufacturing negligence is not your fault, in any way, shape or form. You’ve been mistreated! The company that caused this harm to your family is fully liable.
This in mind, you could be entitled to some form of compensation, and I recommend you pursue it. We have to show companies like this that we stand for better health and safety practices, and that we won’t give in legally! Whether you learn more from this law firm or pursue them directly, consider it wisely. Taking your case further could help stop similar incidents in future. You could be protecting another family from harm here!
In terms of aiding the health of the family member, there really isn’t much you can do. I’d recommend you schedule regular check-ups with a doctor, so you can discuss how things are going. Most people don’t develop illness until 30 years after their asbestos exposure, so you have some time to figure out how you will deal with things.
If you have symptoms right away, then contact an asbestos specialist immediately. They’ll be able to tell you exactly what your symptoms dictate, and whether you’re at serious risk.
What can I do about asbestos in the home?
We should all feel comfortable and safe in our homes, and it’s important to keep them in tip-top shape. Asbestos is dangerous, yes, but there are things we can do to reduce its impact. If you discover asbestos in your home, don’t touch it! Just leave it. It’s only dangerous if it’s inhaled, so don’t disturb the fibers.
The following are common places that can hide asbestos around your home:
- Gaskets in furnaces or wood burning stoves
- Floor tiles like vinyl and rubber, as well as the adhesive used to stick the tiles
- Fake ashes and embers that are used in fireplaces
- Insulation, usually in the loft
- Certain textured paints
- Roof shingling and siding
Again, if you discover asbestos in any of these locations – just leave it. It’s not worth the risk. You should limit access to the affected area to make sure that the asbestos isn’t disturbed. If it’s behind your loft in the insulation, then this is ok because nobody is likely to be in that room. If it’s in a higher traffic area, then that’s when it poses a problem.
Your best bet is to hire an asbestos professional. As the name implies, this person will be able to advise you and your family, and conduct a home asbestos inspection. As is the case with any handyman, be sure to check their credentials thoroughly. You don’t want them to make the situation worse!
In some cases, they may be able to remove the cause of the asbestos entirely. If it’s a relatively small sample area, then this will be all the easier. If you have a widespread problem, then the professional will attempt to help you contain it if it can’t be removed.
How can I manage an asbestos problem?
If the material or product that contains the asbestos looks fine, then just leave it. As long as it doesn’t get disturbed, it won’t release any fibers. Remember, asbestos is only dangerous if it’s inhaled.
One option you have is to seal the asbestos. This means you cover the material so the fibers can’t be released, or you’ll bind the fibers together. This should only be done by a professional, but it is possible to do yourself. Think about the costs of repairing, too. If you cover it up or seal it, it may make it harder to fully remove the asbestos further down the line. Consider removing it upfront.
In terms of what not to do, that’s a very long list! For starters, you shouldn’t disturb the asbestos in any way. This means no vacuuming, no sweeping and no brushing of any kind. Don’t alter any asbestos materials either. If you’re renovating the home, be careful not to drill or saw anything that contains a risk. If your asbestos is in the floor, install new flooring over it rather than pulling it up. Use a rug to place over it if necessary.
Additionally, when cleaning an asbestos area, do it gently. Don’t use any abrasive cleaning products or harmful soaps. Use a light mop and a little water. If possible, avoid cleaning the area at all. It’s not worth the risk.
Above all, stay safe!
Sometimes, there’s nothing to be done with a household problem. If you and your family have been affected by asbestos, then it’s your right to take the case further. After that, you need to assess your home for any risks and potential hazards. With asbestos, treat it carefully – or not at all, if possible – and do not disturb it. If it’s out of the way, it will stay that way, and you don’t have to worry.