While the use of asbestos in a range of industries finally came under scrutiny and got banned, outdated equipment and buildings still put many people at risk.
According to Asbestos.com, approximately 125 million people worldwide continue to face occupational exposure to asbestos. Knowing the high-risk fields and ways to minimize exposure play a key role in reducing the risk.
Industries at high risk for exposure
Asbestos inherently had excellent properties for construction, but not for the people working with it. Even today, renovators, other contractors, and firefighters face a potential risk with regard to the renovation, demolition, or destruction of a building with asbestos. Other occupations that have the potential to come into contact with asbestos include auto mechanics, railroad workers, shipbuilders, farmers, HVAC technicians, and factory workers.
Tips to minimize exposure
In a perfect world, employers should take charge to prevent their employees from getting exposed to asbestos. Three key ways to make that happen include ensuring a properly ventilated work environment, providing the proper personal protective gear and requiring its use, and limiting time spent in areas with any amount of asbestos.
Steps to take after potential exposure
Any person who suspects a potential exposure should take swift action. Immediately wash the entire body and clothes, or even properly dispose of clothes. Next, communicate with a supervisor about exposure concerns. Last, do not assume a little exposure will not cause damage. Always seek medical attention to monitor the lungs.
The effects of asbestos exposure do not happen overnight. Knowing the risk and taking the right steps may help minimize the chances of a chronic or deadly illness.