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Mesothelioma Prevention

Mesothelioma Prevention
Mesothelioma Prevention

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Mesothelioma is a fatal cancer that affects the lining of the heart, lung, or abdominal cavity. The only known cause for malignant mesothelioma is asbestos fibers, microscopic particles given off by asbestos products. These fibers are tough and resilient, they cannot be seen with the human eye and they can be inhaled or ingested without knowledge. Deteriorating asbestos products in the workplace caused tens of thousands of cases of asbestos related disease over the past fifty years and continues to impact several thousand citizens of the U.S. every year.
Asbestos Limits Help Prevent Mesothelioma

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has enacted a number of workplace asbestos regulations to aid in mesothelioma prevention. Under workplace asbestos laws the permissible level of exposure is 01. fibers per cubic centimeter for an eight-hour work day and one fiber per cubic centimeter in any thirty minute time frame at a work station. Moreover, employers are required to frequently monitor and regulate the work environment in addition to providing their employees with protective clothing and respiratory equipment, sufficient hygiene facilities, routine medical exams, and training.

The Environmental Protection Agency recommends a number of steps and precautions people can take to help protect themselves against non-occupational asbestos exposure that may lead to mesothelioma. These mesothelioma prevention methods include, but are not limited to:

* Regular inspection and monitoring of asbestos-containing products or materials around the home since asbestos was commonly used in the production of roof shingles, insulation, flooring, and more.
* Don't attempt to remove any asbestos-containing materials. It is vital that you enlist the help of an asbestos removal professional who is properly trained to handle the material and can ensure safe removal.
* Avoid vacuuming, sweeping, drilling, sanding, or scraping any surfaces that may contain asbestos fibers. Once these fibers are airborne, they may be inhaled or ingested greatly increasing the risk of mesothelioma.

Sources of Asbestos Exposure

The primary locations for asbestos products today are older buildings that were constructed prior to 1975 and haven't undergone much remodeling since. Every year tens of thousands of home buyers encounter old asbestos floor tiles or linoleum, roofing, siding or insulation after moving into an older home. Removing those products can be done safely, but recognizing them for what they are is critical. Take a sample of whatever old product it is that you intend to remove and ask a professional in the home improvement business what it's made of. When asbestos products get old and crumble they give off fibers that can float in a dust cloud. Old adhesives for flooring and joint compound for walls often contained asbestos, so don't sand them if you don't know what they are.

OSHA estimates that 1.3 million workers in construction and general industry still face significant asbestos exposure on the job today. For construction workers it is usually removing old material on a remodel job or demolishing an old building. Much of the exposure concern for industrial workers has to do with auto repair and older industrial structures. While the dangers are greatly diminished compared to thirty years ago, they are still present for hundreds of thousands of American workers.


1. Respiratory Diseases, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health,
2. OSHA Asbestos Standards, U.S. Department of Labor,
3. Asbestos in the Home, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,
4. Asbestos Control, OSHA, U.S. Department of Labor,

Mesothelioma Prevention

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