Asbestos fibers, when disturbed, can become airborne and inhaled, posing significant health risks. The US Environmental Protection Agency proposed a ban in 2022 on the use of asbestos; if approved, it will reduce the exposure risks.
If exposed to these fibers, you must act quickly and leave the area to minimize further contact.
Avoid disturbing contaminated items
Resist the temptation to clean or handle potentially contaminated items. Asbestos is often found in construction materials, such as insulation and tiles. Disturbing these materials can release asbestos fibers into the air, increasing the risk of inhalation.
Inform authorities and your supervisor
While most uses of asbestos are not banned, there are specific protocols for handling and cleaning the substance. If you are at work or in a public space, notify your supervisor or relevant authorities about the potential exposure to asbestos. They can take appropriate steps to assess and address the situation, ensuring the safety of everyone in the vicinity.
Get medical attention
Even if you feel fine, get medical attention immediately after suspected exposure to asbestos. Inform your doctors about the potential exposure so they can conduct the necessary tests and examinations. They will assess your health and identify any potential asbestos-related issues.
Document the exposure incident
Keep a detailed record of the incident, including the date, location and circumstances surrounding the suspected exposure. Note any symptoms you may experience and any conversations with authorities or healthcare professionals. This documentation can be valuable for future reference.
Even after initial medical assessments, following up on health monitoring as your healthcare provider recommends is necessary. Asbestos-related illnesses may have a long latency period, and regular check-ups can help detect any potential health issues early on. Proactively taking these steps can minimize the health risks associated with asbestos exposure.