Because asbestos is durable and non-flammable, it has a long history of use in various construction materials. This includes attic insulation, vinyl floor tiles, some forms of linoleum, window caulking/glazing, siding materials, and much more.
Following the implementation of stringent regulations by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the 1970s, asbestos use began a steady fall. It was found that exposure to asbestos causes major lung diseases such as mesothelioma — a type of cancer that often manifests itself many years after the first exposure to the toxin.
Though asbestos has seen a considerable decline in the construction industry today, many commercial facilities that were built with asbestos in the 1960s and 1970s are still in use. It’s extremely important for individuals who spend time in these working environments to be aware of the health risks associated with asbestos exposure. This asbestos removal contractor in Palatine, Illinois is going to review the risks below.
What is asbestos?
Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous material with heat-resistant qualities and can take a plethora of shapes and forms as an additive in many applications. No level of asbestos is considered safe — if one were to be exposed to asbestos, they could develop many chronic lung diseases and respiratory complications.
Mesothelioma has only one identifiable cause — and that is asbestos exposure. A mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that can take anywhere from 20 to 50 years to manifest in the soft tissues. It is terminal cancer with few available treatment options.
Since occupational workers often work with asbestos in their line of work, they are more likely to be affected by the disease. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 125 million people worldwide are exposed to asbestos at their workplace.
Though there is currently no cure for mesothelioma, you can take the following steps to to reduce your risk of being exposed to asbestos in the workplace:
Look for disruptions
When all the airborne mineral fibers in asbestos remain intact, the material poses a far lower health risk. It is only when these fibers are exposed or disrupted that asbestos becomes dangerous.
According to pulmonologist Humberto K. Choi, MD, asbestos was more commonly found in construction materials before the material was banned. If you are working in an older commercial building in Palatine, Illinois, it is important to be aware of any places that may have previously contained asbestos and may now be exposed or disrupted — think exposed fiberglass insulation, damaged ceiling tiles, and loose laminate flooring.
If your company is going to renovate the property, do not hesitate to contact an asbestos removal contractor in Palatine, Illinois before the work begins. If there are concerns, you can inquire about the types of renovations being done, the building materials used, and what your company is doing to ensure a safe work environment.
Asbestos could be found in any building built before the 1980s. The U.S. is not included in the nearly 60 countries that have passed legislation to outlaw the use of asbestos. In fact, up to 1% of asbestos-containing material is still allowed in the construction industry. This does not eliminate the exposure problem — instead, it only reduces its risk.
Lastly, do your research. If you want to learn more about the building’s history, you could inquire with your HR department. If that does not work, you can always contact the facility management, and they should have access to any information about the age of the building and how it was built.
Looking for an Asbestos Removal Contractor in Palatine, Illinois?
Would you like to have your workspace inspected for asbestos? If so, and if you’re looking for the top-rated asbestos removal contractor in Palatine, Illinois, Axis Response Group is the company to call. Contact us today at (773) 427-6811 to get started.