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Protecting Yourself from Asbestos Exposure

Protecting Yourself from Asbestos Exposure

As symptoms surface and more people are being diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases such as mesothelioma, you may be wondering about your risk of asbestos exposure. There are thousands of asbestos containing materials (ACMs) that are used in hundreds of products that surround us daily.

However, the people who are at greatest risk of an asbestos-related disease are those who work directly with asbestos. This includes mining the mineral from the ground, and processing and manufacturing products that contain asbestos. Those who transport, install and remove the material are also at high risk of exposure.

Here are some common jobs that put individuals at a high risk of contracting asbestos-related diseases:

  • Asbestos removal workers
  • Workers at a facility where ACMs are manufactured
  • Demolition workers
  • Floor covering manufacturers or installers
  • Drywallers, plasterers, painters
  • Insulation workers
  • Workers at railroads
  • Shipbuilders and workers at shipyards
  • Construction workers
  • Auto mechanics
  • Bricklayers, roofers, carpenters, electricians
  • Plumbers
  • Building maintenance workers and repair men
  • Iron workers and those who work in steel mills
  • Glazers
  • Furnace workmen
  • Longshoremen

What you can do to protect yourself
If you work at a high-risk job for asbestos exposure, you should only work with non-licensed asbestos materials if you have had special asbestos training and you have the appropriate protective wear and equipment. These non-licensed materials include:

  • Asbestos cement wall panels
  • Asbestos cement roofing
  • Textured coating
  • Floor tiles
  • Asbestos fire blanket

If you are working with asbestos, here are some tips to help you minimize the amount of dust and subsequent inhalation:

  • Keep materials damp, but not too wet
  • Use hand tools instead of power tools
  • Clean as you go with a special class H vacuum, not a brush
  • Be sure to properly double-bag asbestos waste and label the bags
  • Wear suitable disposable overalls and either boots without laces or disposable boot covers
  • Properly secure a disposable FFP3 type mask
  • Do not smoke, eat or drink in the work area
  • When finished, wipe overalls down with a rag and remove them (before removing mask)
  • Put overalls and waste in a disposable asbestos bag and dispose properly. Do not take overalls home to wash

You should not work on the following materials, as you need a special license to do so:

  • Sprayed coatings on ceiling walls, beams and columns
  • Sprayed coatings on walls
  • Asbestos insulating board ceiling tiles
  • Asbestos insulating board panels
  • Asbestos insulation on pipes
  • Asbestos lagging on pipes

For your health and safety, be alert at all times to the dangers of working with materials that may contain asbestos. If you do find asbestos, stop working and tell your supervisor immediately.

If you would like more information regarding mesothelioma, asbestos lung cancer or other asbestos-related disease, please contact asbestos cancer attorneys, , LLP, today. Serving Maryland and all of Washington D.C., , LLP are knowledgeable and experienced lawyers, who will answer your questions and fight to get you the money to which you are entitled during this difficult time.