Asbestos is a very toxic material that once was used in just about in every house and building all over the world. It is carcinogenic, meaning it can cause cancer and this cancer, most likely to be mesothelioma which is one of the worst cases of cancer. Its has a very long latency period (25 years – 50 years) treating mesothelioma is not that easy. After diagnosis, a patient is typically given a life expectancy between 12 to 21 months.
What makes asbestos a very serious menacing threat to our health is that it is hard to detect by our senses. It is odourless and does not cause irritation when in contact with the skin, asbestos dust spreads easily through the air which makes containment very important and should only handled by experts.
What should I do if I get exposed to asbestos?
- If you have inhaled asbestos dust
Once asbestos dust found its way to your system, there’s no way to expel it. But the good news is, you can do something to mitigate the risk.
The initial step is to leave the contaminated area at once so you won’t get exposed for too long. Look for an open space that will allow you to breathe clean and fresh air.
- If it contacts your skin
Leave the contaminated area immediately. Since asbestos dusts have probably contaminated your clothes, remove them gently and put them inside a sealed plastic bag.
When you wash your skin, stay in the shower for at least 5 minutes. Only use mild soap and avoid rubbing your skin. Make sure the water is continuously flowing to thoroughly wash away asbestos dusts..
- If you get it in your eyes
Asbestos dust in your eyes will sting but keep in mind that rubbing the affected eye won’t do any good.
The best thing to do when eye is contaminated with asbestos dust is to immediately flush your eyes with gently flowing lukewarm water for 5 minutes. Another option is to flush water on your eyes with clean hands. If pain or irritation persists, immediately visit a doctor..
- If you accidentally ingest the fibers.
Immediately leave the contaminated area. Then, rinse your mouth with water. If you feel unwell, call poison control or a doctor without delay.
As you noticed, the first thing to do when you get exposed to asbestos is to leave the contaminated place immediately. This is crucial because the risk of developing asbestos-related diseases increases as your exposure gets longer. Once the above first aid response have been completed, it is best to seek a doctor immediately for medical advice.