Children are adventurous. They’ll build forts out of loose materials, explore abandoned buildings, or turn old, dilapidated barns into clubhouses. While we can all relate to these behaviors from when we were children, the prospect of these activities seems far more dangerous now that we’re aware of the prevalent danger of asbestos. Since children are unaware of its presence and may be unsure of its harmful effects, it’s important to establish guidelines for keeping children safe from asbestos.
Steps to Keeping Your Children Safe from Asbestos Exposure
Due to their developing respiratory systems, children are at higher risk for mesothelioma and other asbestos-related health risks. They also breathe at a faster rate, inhaling high levels of asbestos fibers even during brief exposures. That’s why you must be proactive in taking the following steps:
- Educate Them: Tell them what asbestos is, where it’s commonly found, and how damaged construction materials can potentially expose them to asbestos. However, be sure they’re aware that, when in good condition and well maintained, asbestos is safe to be around.
- Educate Yourself: Be aware of purchasing any potential asbestos-containing products, such as talc and certain children’s makeup brands, and ensure any activities or occupations your family, friends, and neighbors participate in don’t introduce your children to secondhand exposure.
- Encourage Your Children to Speak Up: Have your children bring to your attention any mention of someone attempting asbestos removal without the help of an asbestos abatement company or any word of asbestos in their school.
Education and transparency are recommended when discussing asbestos with your children. While the goal shouldn’t be to scare them, they must take precautions to protect themselves.
Preventing Children from Participating in High-Risk Activities
Once they’re made aware of the health risks of asbestos, you can inform them of what not to do. Since some asbestos construction materials were used up until 1990, you should instruct your children to stay away from abandoned buildings or construction sites where old structures have been demolished. Furthermore, should they encounter any construction materials lying around – especially if damaged – they should steer clear and avoid disturbing them. You should also tell them to avoid drinking from old water fountains, as they may have asbestos lining the pipes.
Keeping children safe from asbestos is a team effort. It takes some proactive education on your behalf and some responsibility on theirs. Beyond ensuring their safety in the outside world, you should also be vigilant of asbestos and other hazardous materials around your own home. If you suspect your family is being exposed to toxic substances, Fiber Control, Inc. can protect you by remediating or removing them. Contact us today for information on our services.