Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral made of flexible and soft fibers that are resistant to corrosion, heat, and electricity. It is often used in construction and other industrial applications. When asbestos materials are damaged, the tiny fibers that are released can cause serious health problems, such as lung cancer. Read on to find out how you can deal with accidental asbestos exposure.
Common Sites Where Accidental Asbestos Exposure Happen
Asbestos materials are used in the construction of many commercial buildings, which is why asbestos disturbance happens more often that one might think. Building products that may contain asbestos include ceilings, insulation, walls, pipes, cladding, floors, tanks, partitions, doors, panels, boilers, and voids. This means that accidental asbestos exposure can happen almost anywhere in a building.
What To Do When You Have Disturbed Asbestos
There are times when people are getting simple work done on their commercial building, such as drilling walls to put up shelves, only to realize that they might have disturbed an asbestos containing material. If this happens to you and you are not licensed to work with asbestos, stop the work immediately and evacuate everyone else in the area. An asbestos specialist should be contacted so they can sample the material, clean up the area, and advise you on what to do.
Although it is not safe to be in the area of the exposed asbestos, it is better to stay put if you have gotten some debris on your clothing. This will prevent spreading the asbestos fibers around. Get help to put on a mask to avoid breathing in the asbestos fibers and wipe yourself with a damp cloth before heading to the showers. Any clothing or object that has been contaminated will need to be safely disposed of as asbestos waste.
Do steer clear of the area until it has been cleaned up and is safe to return. This can take several days as asbestos fibers can stay in the air for a long time. Put up warning signs and cordon off the area so that other people are aware of the risk.
How To Prevent Accidental Asbestos Exposure
Diseases caused by accidental asbestos exposure often take many years to develop but they bring about deadly repercussions. To keep you and your co-workers safe, it is best to prevent accidental asbestos exposure. As we have established, despite its dangers, asbestos is very commonly used as a building material. If you are not sure if your commercial building contains asbestos, make sure to get a licensed contractor to do work on the building instead of doing it yourself.
If you suspect that the materials used to build your commercial building contain asbestos, it is wise to carry out asbestos inspection and mediation for the prevention of accidental asbestos exposure. Contact your nearest Iris Labs today to let us know how we can help you.