Asbestos, a known carcinogen, poses a threat to anyone who works directly with or around its loose fibers, whether in the workplace or in private life. Employers are required by government regulations through agencies such as OSHA, EPA, and Workers’ Compensation laws to provide protection to employees. These protections aren’t a trade secret, and if you are a do-it-yourselfer, you can protect yourself from asbestos by taking the time to learn a few techniques. The danger from asbestos arises when the fibers are airborne, so the goal is to minimize the amount of dust you create.
Some of the pointers you’ll find at the link above are summarized here. Dust can land on your clothing, in your hair, and in your food, drink, and even on cigarettes, so don’t put anything in your mouth in the presence of dust.
Other recommended protections are:
Working with dampened material will reduce dust.
Working with hand tools gives you more control over dust than working with power tools.
Wear an appropriate mask that will filter particles smaller than asbestos particles (FFP3 type), wear disposable coveralls, including boot covers and a covering for your hair.
Use an appropriate vacuum to clean up.
Working with certain materials without a license is a serious consideration for anyone renovating their home. Many dangerous wall, ceiling, and insulation materials are commonly found in older buildings. Deterioration from aging creates an exposure risk whether or not they are repaired. Find out which constructions materials are safe to repair, and which are best left to the professionals. You should consult a licensed professional before you begin any renovation.
Please contact the law offices of Brown | Kiely, LLP to learn more about asbestos protection laws and your rights in Baltimore, Maryland and Washington, D.C.