Asbestos awareness is among the most important components of construction safety training. Here are a few reasons why that is:
This is, of course, the most obvious and the most important reason why asbestos awareness is so important. The list of health complications that go along with exposure, especially prolonged exposure to asbestos is a long one, but to list just the most common effects of asbestos on the human body:
Increased risk of lung cancer
Asbestos does not always lead to lung cancer, but it does compound your risk. If you’re regularly exposed to asbestos and you smoke then you’re going to be at a higher risk than someone who is regularly exposed to asbestos and does not smoke, but whether you smoke or not, the risk will be higher.
Mesothelioma develops from mesothelium, the protective lining which covers many internal organs. Mesothelioma is a cancer and is regarded as being fairly rare, except in those who have been exposed to asbestos. Even washing the clothes of someone who works with asbestos can increase your risk of developing the disease. This is another major reason why asbestos awareness is so important: even second and third hand exposure to asbestos can be incredibly dangerous.
It’s generally fair to say that you want to avoid any substance that has a disease named after it. Asbestosis occurs when the lungs develop an inflamed and fibrotic condition as a result of asbestos exposure. Essentially, scar tissue develops in the lungs which causes asthma-like symptoms and even total respiratory failure.
Secondary, but still worth considering are the legal complications involved with asbestos. Part of the reason that companies employ safety services is to avoid lawsuits and lower insurance costs, and those in the safety field are only doing their job in reducing liability.
Even if asbestos exposure does not lead directly to any adverse health conditions, simply putting people at risk of the same can have severe legal complications for business and home owners.
Finally, not everybody knows that asbestos is dangerous. By spreading the knowledge of what asbestos is and how it can affect the human body, we can ensure not just a safer work environment, but safer, healthier lives, as well.