Mesothelioma Patient: The High Cost of Asbestos Abatement Puts More Families at Risk
As we approach the new year, many people start to come up with resolutions or general plans of what they hope to accomplish in the months ahead. For some, this may include some home updates and various do-it-yourself projects to improve the living environment. But anyone deciding to embark on such projects, especially in a home built before 1980, should take the proper precautions to ensure their home improvements don’t ultimately cause more harm than good.
For older homes, toxins like lead and asbestos can be a huge issue and not always so easy to identify. Thousands of homes still contain these dangerous materials today, and absentmindedly whacking a hammer at a wall without proper inspection first can put families and visitors to the home at risk of exposure. Often, children or young adults face the health risks of lead exposure from eating lead paint chips, for instance.
In the past, mesothelioma was always thought of as an old man’s disease because exposure most often occurred on the job. Though that’s still a serious risk, in more recent years, new cases are being increasingly diagnosed in younger generations. This rise in occurrence highlights the importance of asbestos inspections and abatements, but the cost is too high for many Americans to handle on their own.
Mesothelioma in Younger Patients from Exposure at Home
Asbestos was used heavily in the construction of homes, especially from the 1930s to 1970s. At its peak use in 1973, reports show the United States consumed and produced 803,000 tons of asbestos. The mineral was popularly used in various products, including many materials used throughout the construction of homes, buildings and schools. Asbestos was used in everything from the insulation to roofing to tile floors, and many of these old uses remain in these homes and buildings today.
Though asbestos was used for its durability, fire and chemical resistance, it can be easy for materials containing the mineral to be damaged and release fibers into the air, especially during do-it-yourself projects at home. The fibers are invisible to the human eye, making it impossible to really avoid exposure once the fibers have become airborne. Whether inhaled or ingested, like a child picking up a piece of insulation and unknowingly consuming it, the fibers are just as dangerous.
Experts have stated that no amount of exposure is safe, and every type of asbestos is carcinogenic. While millions of workers are exposed to asbestos on the job each year, researchers have seen more instances of mesothelioma in younger adults partially due to exposures at home. Whether they face secondhand exposure from a family member unknowingly working with asbestos or are exposed more directly from home projects gone wrong, mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases are becoming more common in younger patients.
Just last month, a 23-year-old woman from the United Kingdom was diagnosed with mesothelioma from possibly ingesting asbestos at home as a young child. The family is unsure of where any asbestos could have even come from, and weren’t well aware of its dangers or mesothelioma until the unexpected diagnosis. Sadly, more cases like this will likely continue to emerge until the past uses of asbestos are removed. Unlike the United States, the UK has an asbestos ban in place. But their citizens are still in danger from the remaining asbestos in homes, schools, buildings, and more.