One of the most common questions on asbestos is how much exposure it takes to develop mesothelioma. Since asbestos exposure remains a large public health concern, it is an important question.
Here are the facts about asbestos exposure risk.
Asbestos dust exposure should be avoided
As with many carcinogens, the more you are exposed to asbestos dust, the likelier it is that you will develop cancer. However, numerous medical bodies, including the World Health Organization and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, have repeatedly insisted that there is no safe level of asbestos exposure. Simply put, asbestos fibers are a known carcinogen that should be avoided entirely.
Asbestos materials in good repair and undisturbed do not pose a significant danger.
It is when asbestos becomes friable, or crumbly, that it poses a danger. This is because asbestos fibers become airborne, where they can be inhaled. Once inhaled, the body cannot purge the fibers, which creates inflammation and an increased risk of cancer.
You may have asbestos-contaminated material in your home. For example, asbestos was often used in heating and cooling units, tile, roofing and in “popcorn” ceilings. However, chances are good that you have not been exposed to asbestos dust unless the material containing asbestos is in bad repair.
If you are in a home that was built between 1915 and 1985, however, it is vitally important that you test for asbestos prior to making repairs or remodeling.
Am I safe?
One of the most pernicious aspects of asbestos exposure is the uncertainty people who have been exposed must face. Mesothelioma takes decades to develop, so the first time someone may realize they have been exposed is when they are diagnosed.
We certainly don’t want to cause anyone undue alarm. A single exposure is not a death sentence; some people manage to avoid a mesothelioma diagnosis despite repeated exposure.
Unfortunately, however, asbestos dust is a real danger, and has been for decades. And the companies who mined and manufactured asbestos knew it was deadly. If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma and wondering about the source of your exposure, you can speak to an experienced mesothelioma litigation law firm for help.