Why is Asbestos so Scary?

Why is Asbestos so Scary?
“It’s shocking to me that hundreds of thousands of people are dying of asbestos-related disease across this country but most people don’t know a thing about it,” says Chris Weis, an asbestos coordinator for the Environmental Protection Agency. Medical evidence dating back to 1899 has shown that asbestos is a slow but steady killer, even though world governments, including our own, and the popular media have long bought into the idea that a little asbestos won’t hurt you. In fact, a single microscopic spear-shaped asbestos fiber lodged in a victim’s lung can cause myriad fatal reactions. Physicians estimate that exposure to asbestos will eventually kill millions of Americans. They will die of asbestosis, mesothelioma, tremolite poisoning, or cancer of the esophagus, colon, or stomach.
Asbestos is a naturally occurring substance that has been used extensively because of its heat strength, tensile strength, and insulating properties. The troubling aspect of asbestos is that it is lethal and has been described as a silent killer that can lead to asbestosis, mesothelioma, tremolite poisoning, or cancer of the esophagus, colon, or stomach.
According to Asbestos.com:
Homes and apartments built before 1980 often are filled with asbestos, needing only normal wear and tear with age to dislodge the fibers and send them airborne. Asbestos can be found in floor tiles, roofs, furnaces, plumbing, appliances, fireplaces and window caulking, leaving most everyone vulnerable.
Click here to review a detailed diagram of where asbestos can be found in your home.
The prevalence of asbestos in homes and buildings and the illnesses it is causing has led to many law suits and litigation’s. According to a special report by Reuters, asbestos related law suits are on the rise. Lawyers are taking advantage of this fact and focusing on recruiting clients for class action lawsuits. In fact:
“At one point earlier this year, 15 of the 100 most expensive keyword search phrases for click-through ads on Google contained the word “mesothelioma,” the deadly cancer caused by asbestos exposure. The single most expensive phrase, online marketing firm SpyFu reported, was “Florida mesothelioma lawyers,” at $177.74 per click.”
Asbestos is in the News and will continue to be. So, what should you do if you suspect that you may have asbestos in your home or office? According to Michael Bowker, author of the book Fatal Deception, you should call a professional and avoid trying to take your own samples. In his words:
“Unless you are trained and have proper protective gear, you might expose yourself and perhaps your family by attempting to take your own samples”
Asbestos is scary for one simple reason: it causes death. The only way to deal with asbestos is to remove it or contain it and that will be the subject of our next blog entry where we explain the Asbestos Abatement process. In the mean time, stay vigilant my friends and educate yourselves about asbestos. We are dedicated to creating asbestos awareness through our weekly Asbestos in the News feature which is posted every Wednesday…please review the articles and pass this information on to friends and family.

5 thoughts on “Why is Asbestos so Scary?

  1. Mark Knick

    That’s because people dying of asbestos exposure is not as exciting as the Jack Sparrow and the Housewives of Nowhere. Let’s face it kids, Americans are more interested in who did what on American Idol this week than what OSHA has to say on asbestos. Besides. On last report, the people from Canada say it is not dangerous anyway. Scared yet?

    Let’s look at another angle here. What is with the OSHA and the EPA? Where is the dissemination of this information going to come from? From them? I think not. Everyone knows OSHA is non-existant until someone has a major injury. As much as I use the OSHA regs to teach workers to protect themselves. All it takes is one guy to ask or make a statement about the last time anyone has seen OSHA on the job. Talk about deflating. So don’t expect much from OSHA. And EPA is so busy trying to justify it’s existence that it can’t even get out of it’s own way. Don’t expect much from them either. We spend big money supporting these agencies that have grown to be so fat and full of politicians that they have lost any effectiveness they could bring.

    Let me ask this. Who has heard about Lead-based paint? Another even more dangerous contaminant that nobody seems to know about. Exposure to Lead causes immediate and devastating health problems. Exposure to Lead effects our biggest resource. Our children. Just as asbestos is, Lead Paint is everywhere. In the 1990’s the EPA was put in charge of a program called the Title X or Title Ten. Out of it came the Repair Renovation and Painting rule (RRP). When EPA finally got around to implementing and enforcing the RRP we found a problem. Regulating the local Mom & Pop general contractors for safe lead work practices isn’t going to be easy but, guess what? The EPA they forgot to tell this community that they had to comply. Guess what? Now they plead ignorance. Oh yea, EPA gladly used our Federal money for whatever. But not to teach the USA about the new requirements of Title X and the RRP rule. What a joke!

    According to the EPA we were supposed to see an “initiative” to inspire anyone disturbing over six square feet of painted surface to become certified and register with the EPA. This was supposed to be a National campaign to educate the GC’s and the Landlord and tennant community. TV commercials, newsprint and radio spots. How about a TV channel dedicated to EPA and or OSHA enforcement. What about that. Nada. Forget it! Not in my country! Nobody heard or saw anything. Nothing and at this point the small percentage that are doing the work properly are being penalized as work goes on un-certified, unlicensed and un-regulated. While the EPA prides itself on a job well done.

    Here it is in a nutshell. If the EPA would have spent half as much time EDUCATING the country about the (approaching three year old) Repair Renovation and Painting rule as the FCC did informing the Country how we would be changing from ANALOG TO DIGITAL broadcasting for television entertainment, my classes would be still full and so would yours. So you see somehow it all leads back to the old saying: YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT.

  2. Mark Knick

    I don’t mean to hijack the subject point of ASBESTOS and turn it into lead, but it pretty much lays in the same rut with asbestos. Jim Stump wrote this to contractors about the Lead-based Paint (RRP) rule last year.

    Lead-safe renovation training and EPA or state certification is the law.   But, there are those that say, “Not for long!” and those that say, “Government regulation is strangling construction”, and still those that say, “The science is not in yet on the dangers of lead poisoning”.  These are the common arguments used against lead-safe training and certification for Renovators of all trades.

    There are rumblings that the United States Environmental Protection Agency will be dissolved due to the influence of the Tea Party.  This would occur on the premise that a free, unregulated market will naturally find the right path without government intervention.  To those that are avoiding the required Renovation, Repair, and Painting training for this reason, this is the very moment for which you argue.  310,000 American children become lead poisoned each year.  Many due to microscopic lead paint dust left in pre-1978 housing and child-occupied facilities by renovations.  

    How do we know this?  A 1992 law, passed by congress and signed by George Herbert Walker Bush requires Doctors to report lead poisoning to local health departments.  These health departments are charged with determining what causes the lead poisoning.  Our health departments remove the poisoned children from their homes for a few weeks and test their blood for lead again.  If the blood-lead level goes down, the house is the problem.  If not, they take them out of school, and so on.  Using this method of removing poisoned children from situations and testing has proven to be very accurate.  This is how Chinese toys were found to contain lead.  Today, more than not, poisoned children come from older homes that have recently been renovated.  The science is in!

    The United States of America is the only country on earth with this magnitude of childhood lead poisoning.  Why?  We painted using leaded paint 50 years longer than almost all other countries on Earth.  Most of that paint is still in place.  It’s not particularly dangerous having been painted over and over again with non-lead paint.  That is, until we arrive with our reciprocating saws, sledge hammers, drills, etc.  An amount of lead as small as the contents of one single sugar packet spread over a large area can seriously damage a child for LIFE.

    A lead poisoned child has learning problems, is irritable, is more likely to drop out of school, commit crime, and is more likely to have Attention Deficit Disorder.   This is with light exposure.  Others become comatose and some die.

    Lead doesn’t just affect children.  If you are a renovator or are around a renovation, you may feel a little slow.  Your memory may not be what it was.  You may make regrettable decisions without understanding why.  You may be quick tempered.  The dust you bring home may affect your wife, children and grand kids.

    So, whatever your opinion of government intervention, it’s time to stop injuring our children, your children and yourself.  Get the training.  Prove the point that you don’t need regulating.  Given the facts, you will do the right thing!

    By the way, the current RRP rule was promulgated and set in motion by George W. Bush, that includes the $37,500.00 fine and prison sentences for non-compliance.
    Please, do the right thing for the right reasons.  Don’t make the argument that you should be allowed to damage children because . . .    It just doesn’t make sense!

    Jim Stump

  3. Dana

    My daughter’s friend died of mesothelioma three weks before they graduated from high school….. this is definitely a topic more people need to know about!

  4. Pingback: The Asbestos Abatement Process | got mold?™ Indoor Air Quality Specialists

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