For years the unregulated manufacturing and use of asbestos products exposed thousands of workers and contractors to asbestos. However, they weren’t the only ones affected. Due to the nature of asbestos and how asbestos exposure occurs, these employees could bring back asbestos from facilities or worksites. Let’s look at asbestos secondary exposure from situations such as these and others, including asbestos cross-contamination.
What is Secondary Asbestos Exposure?
Asbestos exposure occurs when an individual comes into contact with asbestos in the form of asbestos fibers. These fibers, silicate strands much thinner than a human air, break loose during handling, manufacturing, cutting, or even damage of the asbestos, after which they enter the lungs and cause health concerns. In the situation of secondary exposure, the individual brings these asbestos fibers with them into another environment, usually their home, where it can cause secondary exposure to others, such as family members.
Sources of Asbestos Secondary Exposure
Clothing is the most common transporter of asbestos fibers, such as work clothing or hair being coated in fibers at the site of primary exposure. Some common sources are:
- Asbestos from the Workplace: Traditionally, workplaces like factories or mines that contained asbestos were the primary sources of asbestos. Now, asbestos-containing materials (ACM) in offices and factories instead of processing asbestos are the primary cause.
- Asbestos from the Worksite: While construction contractors used to gain exposure from installing ACMs, now the exposure is with remodeling and demolition of buildings that contain asbestos.
- Asbestos Waste: You can be exposed and bring asbestos home with you from waste materials containing asbestos, such as demolished buildings or debris from damage. This can be especially dangerous to pets.
- Asbestos Contaminated Products: Supposedly safe materials can be contaminated by asbestos, especially mined materials that often can contain seams of asbestos, such as vermiculite or talcum powder.
If you think you or a loved one are experiencing signs of asbestos exposure, it’s important to act. Work with asbestos specialists to identify the source of asbestos. From there, asbestos contractors can be brought in for asbestos abatement. If you’re in the Massachusetts or Connecticut area, contact Fiber Control, Inc. to get help.