The basic duties of the managers and health administrators in hospitals include ensuring that health and safety hazards are prevented and mitigated at all times. While they need to be concerned about reducing procedural and operational risks in treating patients, it is important that they care about the well-being of the visitors to hospitals as well. This is why it is essential to properly manage asbestos in hospitals and to prevent any form of asbestos exposure. This problem is a prevalent one because there are still asbestos-containing materials that can be found in healthcare institutions such as hospitals. This article will explain to you what asbestos is and how it has to be managed properly for the health of hospital patients and staff.
What Exactly is Asbestos?
Asbestos refers to a group of 6 naturally occurring minerals. It has useful properties such as great structural strength as well as an impressive resistance to heat. This is why the material is frequently utilized in products that require the use of these properties. Examples of these products include insulating wire and even clothing. Unfortunately, asbestos is still not banned in the United States and this acts as an enormous risk to the health of our citizens. Since it was more common for asbestos to be used in the past, it is easy for us to be at risk of asbestos exposure when coming in contact with old buildings and products.
How Does Asbestos Affect Our Health?
Bear in mind that while undisturbed asbestos might not be harmful to our bodies, it can easily become dangerous to our health when asbestos fibers are disturbed. Once these fibers are released in the air, there is a greater risk of inhaling these needle=like structures. As such, they can become easily lodged in our lungs and cause health complications. The fibers can result in diseases and major respiratory problems that affect people who have been exposed to asbestos. In more severe cases, victims of asbestos exposure might get lung cancer and asbestosis. They can also develop mesothelioma, which is another form of cancer in the lungs. However, it is important to note that symptoms of asbestos-causing diseases might not manifest in our bodies until many years later.
Importance of Asbestos Testing
Due to the fact that asbestos fibers are microscopic and can become lodged in our lungs easily, it is only wise to hire professional testers to find out the risks of asbestos exposure in your hospital. The professionals can collect samples of the air in the healthcare facility and subsequently send them back to the laboratory technicians for rigorous testing. The hospital will definitely stand to gain from this service because it not only grants managers and hospital users the ease of mind, but it can prevent any liability or legal issues that might arise from asbestos exposure in the future. Furthermore, in the case where there are actually asbestos fibers found in the air, you can then decide the next best course of action and choose to start asbestos mitigation efforts.