Despite all the available information, many myths about asbestos, the dangerous naturally occurring mineral that causes life-threatening illnesses, persist. Unfortunately, many people continue believing these myths, which can prevent individuals from seeking necessary medical treatment and/or exploring their legal options after a diagnosis.
Below, we will debunk seven of the most prevalent myths about asbestos.
Myth #1: All Asbestos Use Has Been Banned
False: The United States government banned any new uses of asbestos, meaning that not all asbestos use was outlawed. The use of this dangerous material in some of the most common asbestos-containing products, such as gaskets, roof coatings, and brake pads, is not currently banned. It is estimated that there are more than 3,000 products made today that contain asbestos.
Myth #2: I Must be Exposed to Asbestos Many Times Before I Get Sick
Truth: There is no way to tell how much exposure will lead to an asbestos-related illness. Even a single exposure can result in the development of an asbestos-related disease. However, it is true that being exposed to asbestos multiple times increases your risk of developing asbestos-related illnesses.
Myth #3: Masks Protect You From Asbestos Fibers
Truth: It is true that a mask can protect you from asbestos fibers and asbestos inhalation. However, not all masks can protect you. Some masks have not been designed to keep asbestos fibers away and others were found to be defectively designed.
Additionally, you need to wear more than just a mask to protect yourself from asbestos fibers. As an individual working with asbestos, you also need to wear overalls to protect yourself from asbestos. You also need to wear protective footwear.
Myth #4: Only Old Buildings Need an Asbestos Survey
Truth: Even buildings built after 1980 need an asbestos survey. However, it is crucial to survey older buildings constructed before 1980 when renovations and demolitions are about to happen.
Myth #5: If You Discover Asbestos, You Should Remove it
False: If you discover asbestos in your home or office, you should not attempt to remove it. Asbestos is generally not harmful when left undisturbed. Asbestos removal should only be done by people who have undergone proper training. Removing asbestos by yourself is unsafe. Additionally, sometimes containment is a better option than removal.
It would be best to allow a professional asbestos remover to advise and help accordingly.
Myth #6: You Can Only Get an Asbestos-Related Illness if You Worked With Asbestos
False: Unfortunately, you can develop an asbestos-related illness even if you have never worked with asbestos. For example, you can get an asbestos-related disease like mesothelioma after suffering second-hand/secondary asbestos exposure. You can also develop an asbestos-related illness after handling asbestos-contaminated products.
Myth #7: Companies Do Not Know About the Risks of Asbestos
Truth: Companies know about the risks of asbestos. What happens is that companies keep the dangers of asbestos away from the public. For example, if an employee sustains an asbestos-related illness at work, their employer might conceal the incident or fire the employee so that other employees do not find out.
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