Is Mesothelioma a Preventable Disease?

July 28, 2018
Is Mesothelioma a Preventable Disease?

When it comes to mesothelioma, there’s one surefire way to prevent it: avoid asbestos at all costs. Asbestos is a toxic fibrous material that is known to cause mesothelioma. Because of this, the substance has been banned in numerous nations throughout the world. Still, the United States and Canada have yet to prohibit asbestos, making them two of the only developed nations in the world to keep the material’s legal status afloat.

So, how do you ensure that you avoid asbestos to prevent mesothelioma? We’ll discuss that here.

On-the-Job Prevention

The workplace is the most likely culprit for asbestos exposure. Many people who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma can trace their exposure to asbestos back to a specific job. Nearly 50 years ago, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) began regulating asbestos at the workplace. Under OSHA guidelines, employers are required to do all of the following:

  • Test for and keep records of asbestos levels on a given jobsite
  • Identify and assess risk areas for asbestos exposure
  • Train employees to spot asbestos
  • Limit the possibility of exposure through standard practices
  • Provide filtering masks and other respiratory protection in high asbestos areas
  • Keep track of the health of employees who have been exposed to asbestos

Certain workplaces, including shipyards and construction sites, have been regulated further by OSHA because the risk of asbestos exposure is higher. If you believe your employer isn’t adhering to OSHA’s asbestos regulations, then you may want to speak up. Exposure to asbestos can severely limit your lifespan if you end up with a
mesothelioma diagnosis.

Avoiding Asbestos at Home or School

Asbestos was used frequently in home construction usually because of its fire-resistant properties. It can still be found in many building materials including drywall and insulation. If the materials are in your home and are undamaged, then the risk of exposure is generally minimal. Even so, any new construction or remodel could damage or rustle items that contain asbestos and release the fiber into the air.

In order to avoid exposure, always be sure to contact an accredited asbestos monitoring firm that can test your home for asbestos. This is particularly important to do before you consider a remodel of any kind.

For schools, prevention may be a bit more difficult because students and faculty don’t often have a say in what goes in the building materials. Even so, it is mandatory for schools to conduct asbestos inspections and create contingency plans in the event that exposure to the substance is at a high risk. Like with many homes, schools also often house building materials that contain asbestos, but schools are not required to remove those materials
unless they have been damaged or if a new remodel or demolition is scheduled.

Prevention is Key

For many folks, preventing exposure to asbestos can be difficult. But, it’s the best way to ensure that you don’t incur mesothelioma down the line. Diseases related to asbestos claim the lives of around 30 Americans each day. Although the government and corporations are trying to limit the use of asbestos in workplaces, homes, and schools, exposure can still happen. Because of this, many corporations are facing litigation stemming from asbestos-related lawsuits.

If you or a family member has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, call or email us for a free consultation.