15 Ways to Deal with the Risks of Asbestos
After World War II, asbestos was used widely in building materials, insulation, and vehicle parts. Despite its widespread use, the dangers of asbestos weren’t discovered until the 1970s. Today, there are over 100,000 asbestos-related deaths worldwide every year. Many countries still allow products containing the substance. However, if you develop an asbestos-related disease, you might be able to file a compensation claim.
- 1 What Is Asbestos?
- 2 How Can Asbestos Cause Disease?
- 3 How to Protect Yourself and Deal With Asbestos and Related Illnesses
- 3.1 1. Educate Yourself
- 3.2 2. Understand Your Rights
- 3.3 3. Seek Professional Help
- 3.4 4. Prepare For Emergencies
- 3.5 5. Limit Your Exposure
- 3.6 6. Take Precautions When Remodeling
- 3.7 7. Avoid Common Products
- 3.8 8. Get a Second Opinion
- 3.9 9. Contact an Attorney
- 3.10 10. Look after Your Overall Well-being
- 3.11 11. Find Support
- 3.12 12. Do Not Ignore Symptoms
- 3.13 13. Seek Treatment
- 3.14 14. Know Your Options
- 3.15 15. Minimize Side Effects
- 4 Final Words
What Is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a silicate mineral that has been historically used in construction. Even today, its remnants can be found in many buildings. Some of the most common types of asbestos include:
- Crocidolite (blue)
- Amosite (brown)
- Actinolite (gray)
- Chrysotile (white)
How Can Asbestos Cause Disease?
The inhalation of microscopic asbestos fibers can damage the lining of the lungs, resulting in mesothelioma and lung cancer.
How to Protect Yourself and Deal With Asbestos and Related Illnesses
1. Educate Yourself
Asbestos is dangerous to most people because they are unaware of its dangers. Consequently, they may not realize that they are being exposed to harmful fibers. The good news is that you can educate yourself about the symptoms of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related illnesses. Additionally, you must learn how to prevent exposure.
2. Understand Your Rights
Although most companies have removed asbestos from their products, some still contain it. You may want to speak to a lawyer about your legal rights. If you are diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, you could file a lawsuit against the company that manufactured the substance. A lawyer can explain your options and can help you claim from asbestos trust funds that can ease your financial suffering.
3. Seek Professional Help
If you have developed an illness like mesothelioma, you should seek professional treatment immediately. Mesothelioma is difficult to treat, so you should begin your treatment as soon as possible. Once you receive treatment, you can reduce your chances of developing an incurable disease. Experts recommend chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation therapy.
4. Prepare For Emergencies
You should prepare for emergencies before they happen. For example, you should create an emergency fund to pay for medical care. You should also set up a plan to provide for your family if you become sick and unable to work. It’s important to get financial assistance as soon as possible. Otherwise, you might lose everything in a single event.
5. Limit Your Exposure
The biggest danger associated with asbestos is breathing in harmful fibers. Although you should limit your exposure, you should also know where to find asbestos. You can ask your landlord, employer, or insurance agent about the presence of asbestos in your home, workplace, or neighborhood. Additionally, you should wear protective gear when you handle asbestos-containing materials. For instance, you should always wear gloves and a mask.
6. Take Precautions When Remodeling
Before starting a remodel, you should check the attic, basement, and crawl space. These areas often contain asbestos-containing materials that could release harmful fibers into the air. You should also ensure that your contractor has handled asbestos-containing materials safely. If not, you may develop an asbestos-related disease after your renovation project.
7. Avoid Common Products
You should stay away from any product that contains asbestos. There are many common products made from asbestos, including:
- Building materials
- Vehicle parts
8. Get a Second Opinion
You should schedule a second opinion if you suspect you’ve been exposed to asbestos. Some doctors misdiagnose patients, meaning you could have an undiagnosed disease. It’s best to get a second opinion from another physician. Furthermore, you should visit a specialist at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to diagnose your condition.
9. Contact an Attorney
After being diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, you should contact a lawyer as soon as possible. The sooner you talk to an attorney, the better your chances of getting compensation. You should also consider contacting a law firm that specializes in asbestos litigation. They will help you file a case against the manufacturer of the substance.
10. Look after Your Overall Well-being
It’s easy to forget about your overall well-being while dealing with the risks of asbestos. However, making time for physical activities and good nutrition is important. You should also practice stress management techniques to cope with the challenges of asbestos exposure.
11. Find Support
Asbestos victims often feel isolated and depressed. You should look for support groups online or near your home. These organizations will allow you to share your experiences with others who have dealt with similar issues. You’ll also learn ways to overcome your struggles. You can also join a social media group or forum for asbestos victims to connect.
12. Do Not Ignore Symptoms
Mesothelioma symptoms are hard to notice, especially early on. For this reason, mesothelioma often goes undetected until it spreads. As such, you should never ignore your symptoms. Instead of avoiding them, you should alert your doctor immediately. In addition, you should visit a cancer center to get tested for mesothelioma.
13. Seek Treatment
Many patients with asbestosis or mesothelioma ignore their symptoms for too long. However, you must consult a doctor immediately if you develop chest pain or shortness of breath. You should also see a doctor if you experience pain in your joints or abdomen. Lastly, you should get treatment as soon as possible if you develop unexplained weight loss.
14. Know Your Options
You should research all your options before deciding on a treatment plan. This includes researching clinical trials to try new treatments. For instance, you might be able to participate in a clinical trial to test experimental drugs. You should also review your finances to determine how much you can afford to spend on treatment. You shouldn’t assume that you must choose between expensive medications and other healthcare expenses.
15. Minimize Side Effects
Even if you receive the best treatment, you might still suffer side effects. Therefore, you should minimize these symptoms by learning ways to manage them. Some patients with mesothelioma use meditation to deal with anxiety and depression. Others find relief by taking vitamins and supplements. You should discuss your side effects with your doctor to devise a treatment plan.
Although asbestos is dangerous, there are many ways to reduce your exposure to this hazardous substance. By following the tips listed above, you can protect yourself, your loved ones, and your community members from developing mesothelioma.