While asbestos exposure is usually the result of an occupancy hazard or living situation, these are not the only means one can be exposed to the material. Much like smoking, there is a traveling proximity risk when it comes to asbestos fiber inhalation. Because one doesn’t have asbestos inside the home or at the workplace does not mean they are completely safe from the hazardous material. Read further to discover the ways one can experience second-hand asbestos exposure.
What is Second-Hand Asbestos Exposure?
Whereas primary asbestos exposure is more common among blue-collar workers, especially in the construction industry, second-hand asbestos exposure is experienced by people in other areas of work or even outside the workforce. According to a meta-analysis by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, a large collection of studies over many decades has confirmed that those experiencing secondary exposure are at increased risk of mesothelioma and respiratory abnormalities. Since there is no safe level of asbestos exposure, people can be unwittingly inhaling lethal doses of asbestos fibers.
What are the Common Culprits of Second-Hand Asbestos Exposure?
To protect yourself and your family, it’s important to be mindful of the ways asbestos can infiltrate your home. Some of the ways one can experience second-hand exposure include:
- A Family Member in a High-Risk Occupation: If a family member works in an occupation that is at high risk of exposure – such as a car mechanic – asbestos can travel with them back home on their clothing. It’s recommended workers change their clothing before reporting home.
- A Family Member Working in a Pre-1990s Building: If a family member is working in a deteriorating building built before 1990 or one that is undergoing renovations, there is a possibility they can also transport asbestos via their clothing.
- Asbestos Communities: This term refers to areas where people can be exposed to asbestos due to local manufacturing or demolitions. The asbestos can travel through the air via wind or pollute water sources.
Despite the precautions taken in one’s own home, one can unfortunately still experience second-hand asbestos exposure. If you’re aware of a family member working in a high-risk workplace or a local construction or demolition team performing unsafe asbestos practices, it’s important you recommend an experienced asbestos abatement team. At Fiber Control, Inc., we’re used to dealing with asbestos and other hazardous materials in a wide variety of establishments. If you’re concerned about possible asbestos exposure experienced by you or a loved one, contact us today.