Spending time off from work and school is a fun way to relax and recharge. If you’re planning on renting a beach house for a couple of weeks this summer or staying at a hotel in a bustling city, you should still be aware of the threats lurking in whatever building you book. Asbestos is still a very real danger and could be present in the place you’re staying at on vacation. Yes, its use is banned now and has been for decades, but it’s still around in structures built before the 1970s. The microscopic fibers of asbestos can cause mesothelioma and asbestosis when breathed into the lungs. Be on alert to protect yourself and family while traveling.
Awareness is Key
The quaint inn you’re staying at is certainly high on the charm factor, but because of its age, it could contain asbestos. Teach your kids not to touch textured paint, old insulation, peeling vinyl flooring tiles or crumbling drywall. They may be curious and want to explore wherever you’re staying. They may be aware of the dangers present in their own home, but a vacation home is altogether different. If you’re headed on a business trip, be on the lookout for asbestos-containing materials in the hotel room. Perhaps you’re an engineer or construction worker who has to visit demolition sites of old buildings. This too could pose a risk to asbestos exposure. Be sure to wear all the safety gear possible, from masks to gloves. Make sure rooms have proper ventilation as well. Asbestos could be found within vinyl floor or ceiling tiles, pipe insulation, thermal paper products, cement wallboard, plaster, boiler insulation, caulking, spackling, cement siding, fire blankets and elevator equipment panels, according to Asbestos.net. Alert your suspicions to the building’s owner or authorities when you think asbestos is present, rather than try to remove it on your own. This will only serve to release the tiny fibers into the air where they can be inhaled.
Is Asbestos Present?
Unfortunately, you can’t readily see asbestos. You can only be on the lookout for substances that MAY contain it, then call in an asbestos remediation team for testing and removal. In some cases, substances are labeled that asbestos is present, but this is rare. This naturally-occurring fibrous mineral is 700 times tinier than a strand of hair, says Princeton University, with the most common types being Chrysotile (white) and Amosite (brown or off-white). Historically used in fire-resistant materials in the construction and ship building trades, you’ll also find asbestos in textured paint, siding, brake linings, shingles and putty. Because it’s got excellent insulating properties, it was also used in insulation and spray-on fire proofing. Undisturbed asbestos should be left alone, as it generally won’t cause a health risk. When moved, bumped or otherwise damaged, the fibers are released into the air, posing a severe health risk to those who ingest them. It may take decades, but this can develop into lung cancers like mesothelioma. While there are treatments for mesothelioma, this can be a deadly disease, which is essentially a cancer of the chest and the abdominal cavity lining. That’s why it’s imperative to be on the defensive when traveling, as this substance can be lurking anywhere.
This article was contributed on behalf of Shrader & Associates, your number one choice when seeking representation for cases involving mesothelioma and asbestos. Click here today and see how they can help you!