Asbestos In Older Buildings Health Risks

The world famous Cleveland Clinic have published a very good layman’s guide to asbestos in other buildings – including the associated health risks and how to protect your family from exposure. You can read the entire article here.

Pulmonologist Humberto Choi, MD, says it was also used in shipbuilding and construction to make cements and plastics stronger. “Before it was banned, asbestos could be found in ceilings, floors and paint because it was fireproof, he says. “It was sometimes even used in crayons.”


“The concern is regular exposure,” says Dr. Choi. “People who work in the construction, shipbuilding and mining industries are at risk. They can also bring asbestos home on their shoes, clothing or even in their hair. That can put their families at risk.”

People who work in these industries should do the following:

  • Use protective equipment provided by your employer while at work
  • Always shower immediately after work
  • Always remove and wash your clothes right way

Also, it’s a good idea to check what is in products you buy from other countries. Although there are restrictions on using asbestos in the U.S., that’s not the case everywhere. “If you’re getting products from another country, you may not know they contain asbestos,” Dr. Choi says.

Asbestos Exposure Symptoms

  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Chronic cough
  • Chest pain
  • Swelling in the face
  • Difficulty swallowing

“Asbestos-related diseases can take decades to show up, and whether or not you develop a disease depends on how long you were exposed and how intense that exposure was,” Dr. Choi says. If you have these symptoms or suspect asbestos exposure, talk to your doctor.

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The Asbestos Institute is not the official authority to determine OSHA training requirements, which are set forth in the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. OSHA regulations are always being revised, added, and/or deleted, so you must not rely on The Asbestos Institute as the official authority of OSHA asbestos training requirements. Visit the official OSHA Asbestos Training Requirements page here.

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