Cancer is the second most leading cause of death in the United States affecting over 500,000 people. However, is estimated that 1/3 of all cancers could be prevented through daily activities such as eating healthy, exercising, or simply applying sunscreen on a sunny day. Cancers caused by asbestos exposure are life-threatening, but perhaps the most striking about asbestos cancers like mesothelioma, is that it is considered almost wholly preventable. There is no safe level of asbestos exposure so it is important to know how you can protect yourself and your family from this toxic carcinogen that is still legal in the United States.
While asbestos may not be illegal in the United States, it is heavily regulated by the U.S. government. Different government agencies have their own rules and regulations for asbestos control to maintain exposure levels in the workplace and the environment. Those who work directly with asbestos consistently have a higher chance of contracting a fatal disease than those who do not. Government organizations like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have regulated asbestos to determine the acceptable level of asbestos to which humans can be exposed, how to remove asbestos from a facility safely, and what you are required to do by law if you discover asbestos.
Asbestos In Your Home
Since Asbestos was used for decades and was a popular building material throughout the mid-20th century, chances are if your home was built before 1980, your home could contain asbestos. If you are unsure whether or not your home contains asbestos, contact a certified asbestos professional to find out. A visual inspection will often not be enough to determine if there is asbestos in your home. If asbestos is found then the Department of Housing and Urban Development enacts a combination of asbestos abatement and the Operations and Maintenance (O&M) Program, which is an operation focusing on proper training, cleaning, work practices and surveillance to maintain and control asbestos and asbestos containing materials in buildings that are in good condition.
Asbestos that is not disturbed or exposed in any way does not pose a health threat; however, if you are planning on renovating or the material has become damaged overtime, then you are at risk for asbestos exposure.
February is National Cancer Prevention Month. Understanding the causes of cancer are the first steps to prevention. Donate today and help fund cancer research, care, treatment, and education.