Asbestos and The Dangers of Childhood Exposure

By Robert Lear posted 03-02-2020 09:31 PM


Every parent wants to protect their child from danger. Because asbestos is an invisible threat, this makes protecting children that much more complicated. The most important way to reduce your child’s exposure to asbestos then is to inform yourself of these dangers. 

Conduct research in your immediate environment to determine whether local buildings contain asbestos. Determine whether your own home is an asbestos risk. Informing yourself is your best safeguard against your child’s exposure to asbestos because children are the most vulnerable to this chemical.

Natural and second-hand exposure to asbestos

Geological tests around the U.S. have discovered at least 900 sites of naturally occurring surface asbestos. This makes it almost impossible to protect individuals living in proximity to such sites. Only relocation away from such dangers can limit exposure and reduce the development of asbestos-related diseases.

Second-hand exposure to asbestos occurs in homes, schools, and public buildings where this product has not been eliminated. Because asbestos can also be dispersed in the air, people can unknowingly transfer fibers to other areas that have collected on their person or clothing.

Comprehension that asbestos is present in many areas highlights the requirement to limit exposure in known areas. The only way to protect your child from this significant risk is to limit their access to places known to contain asbestos.

Childhood vulnerability to diseases linked to asbestos exposure

When children are known to have been in proximity to asbestos for significant periods, their chances of developing serious diseases are increased. 

Exposure to either natural surface deposits of asbestos or to asbestos mining increases the potential for developing ovarian or brain cancer in girls under the age of 15-years, along with mesothelioma. The death rates also increase in these young populations in relation to asbestos exposure.

In the same circumstances, boys also have increased death rates due to cancers and other diseases. These include leukemia, prostate, brain or colorectal cancers, and nervous and circulatory health problems. Lung cancer, asbestosis and malignant mesothelioma are just some threats that children face when exposed to high levels of asbestos.

Not all environments are high-level asbestos risks. It does, however, pay to check that your home is asbestos-free, to protect your health and that of your children. This is especially true since the realization that asbestosis is no longer an old man’s disease, but can severely impact child health and mortality as well.

Home evaluations for asbestos threats

As a parent, the best way to protect your child against asbestos exposure is to have a professional home evaluation. Contact an expert to check through your home to identify potential sources of this toxic chemical. Typical sources of asbestos in the home encompass:

  • Furnaces, piping, stoves
  • Ceiling and wall insulation
  • Other insulated coatings on materials in the home
  • Outdated floor tiles
  • External roof sidings and shingles
  • Old paintwork, home patchwork, old appliances

Understanding the potential origins of asbestos in homes means that you will be able to reduce your child’s contact with toxic chemicals. Reduction of asbestos exposure also means that the susceptible health of your child will be protected from dangerous diseases.

Always use an accredited expert for asbestos evaluation and removal

Never attempt to remove asbestos in the home by yourself. Any disturbance or touching of the asbestos by untrained individuals will disperse the fibers into the air. Dispersed fibers will pose an even greater threat to your child’s health as exposure is increased.

Always contact a certified and accredited contractor to evaluate and remove asbestos from your home. Written proof of this accreditation must be provided on request. A list of such contractors can be accessed through the health department or from the EPA lab in your area. 

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