Asbestos is one of the most dangerous chemicals in the world. Before this discovery, it was used in countless everyday items, many found in households. However, it was soon banned due to its many associated health risks, like mesothelioma. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been completely eradicated and can still be found in some of the most unlikely places. If you don’t want to fall victim to it, you should know where it can be found.
The sea is the last place you’d expect to be exposed to a chemical like asbestos. However, like many modern machines, asbestos was once widely used to make naval vessels in the 20th century. By the time manufacturers realized the dangers of working with these chemicals, hundreds of ships had already been constructed. While modern ships are free of asbestos, and older ships have undergone asbestos abatement procedures, there’s still a risk for asbestos exposure on older ships. If you want to know more about these sources and mesothelioma, research resources like film reels or read a book about mesothelioma.
Many floor tiles were constructed and manufactured using asbestos in the 20th century to cut costs and speed up manufacturing. This is especially true for vinyl, as the manufacturing process used to rely heavily on asbestos. As a result, many people who had vinyl floor tiles soon found themselves exposed to asbestos through the skin of their feet whenever they walked the ground in their homes. The next time you come across vinyl floor tiles, be wary because there may still be trace amounts of asbestos.
Asbestos was a convenient and cheaply available substance that was used in a lot of industrial applications in the 20th century, but one of the most common use cases was in the brake pads and clutch plates of cars. This is, of course, not a problem with modern cars, even manual ones, but it is still something you should be conscious of. If you have an old car or are interested in vintage ones, be aware that these parts may contain asbestos.
Cement water pipes
Many water pipes designed to be made cheaply were made using cement decades ago. This cement, however, contains asbestos in some cases. The good news is that exposure is unlikely if you’re drinking or using the water coming through the pipe. The asbestos remains firmly in the cement and doesn’t pollute the water. However, asbestos exposure can be unavoidable during maintenance work and pipe bursts. If you’re near a burst cement pipe, it’s better to be safe and keep your distance.
Most patients suffering from mesothelioma from asbestos exposure are exposed to asbestos because of their work. However, the other most common cause is due to paint and tiling in old homes. There are hundreds of old homes all over the United States that were constructed decades ago and still have people living in them. However, these homes likely have asbestos in their insulation, roofing, walls, and anything else you can imagine.
A potential source of asbestos you may not have ever thought possible is in fireproof clothing. Like most things produced using asbestos, fireproof clothing was manufactured with the chemical decades ago, and modern pieces are asbestos-free. However, in some underdeveloped areas, where emergency support operators don’t have access to the latest equipment, old fireproof vests, and uniforms are sometimes used, and a great deal of these could be laden with asbestos.
Asbestos has a tendency to settle in the soil surrounding areas in which it’s used. As a result, countless factories all over the country are surrounded by soil that carries asbestos. While this is not normally a problem since no farming or grazing occurs on this soil if the ground is ever disturbed or dug up, the asbestos inside it will get released into the air. A common exposure case of people suffering from asbestos exposure is due to them digging up contaminated soil.
While there are many common work hazards, exposure to chemicals like asbestos is one of the worst risks. If you’ve been exposed, you may not find out until you’ve been diagnosed with a disease like mesothelioma, which is too late. Because of this, it’s important to limit your exposure. Using the information in this article, you can stay safe and avoid asbestos wherever you find it.