Asbestos is a naturally occurring fiber found on the surface of the Earth. These durable, heat-resistant fibers were used for insulation in many commercial and residential houses until after scientists discovered toxicity associated with inhaling or ingesting the material. Although asbestos use has been banned for many years in the building and construction industry (many are using fiberglass as an alternative), industries such as shipyard and automotive are still enjoying the benefits of these highly toxic fibers.

Houston personal injury lawyers would probably say that inadvertent exposure to asbestos may result in life-changing chronic illnesses, such as asbestosis and mesothelioma. Whether you are an employee working in a shipyard or a homeowner living in a house constructed before the 70s, protecting yourself from these harmful fibers is a must. To protect yourself better, here are the things that you should and should not do when you see asbestos:

If you see asbestos in your property/workplace, never:

  • Use power tools to drill, sand, or saw the asbestos-containing material. Doing so would disturb the fiber, making it become airborne
  • Remove asbestos alone. Removing asbestos requires skills and experience by asbestos removal experts. Seek professional help always
  • Vacuum or sweep asbestos-containing debris. Again, this is a work that should be done by asbestos professionals

If you see asbestos in your workplace/home, remember these safety tips:

  • If at work, report asbestos occurrence to your immediate supervisor. If at home, contact your local council or an asbestos removalist for assessment and decontamination
  • Wear mask and other protective equipment until after cleanup to prevent asbestos exposure
  • You may also consider washing your hands, face, or taking a shower
  • All apparels (boots hand gloves etc.) should be placed inside an asbestos waste bag to prevent air contamination
  • Surfaces suspected to be contaminated with asbestos fibers should be wiped down with clean, damp rag. DO NOT sweep or vacuum the surfaces, as it may contaminate the air