Mesothelioma Prevention: Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that attacks the protective layers of your internal organs. Pleural mesothelioma, which affects the lungs, is the most common form of the disease.
The main cause of mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos: a combination of six fibrous minerals, which were commonly used by commercial companies throughout the 20th century. In fact, most structures built before 1980 contain asbestos.
The symptoms of mesothelioma can be debilitating, with patients reporting difficulty breathing, chest and abdomen pain, as well as persistent cough.
There is no known cure for mesothelioma and prognosis is often very poor. However, there are several treatment options available to combat the disease, which include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.
Commercial and industrial workers are most likely to develop mesothelioma due to their frequent exposure to asbestos. To reduce the risk of exposure in the workplace, here are three best practices to prevent asbestos exposure:
Mesothelioma Prevention - Asbestos Best Practices: #1 Monitor Levels
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires all workers to monitor levels of asbestos, however not all worksites adhere to this protocol. It is always a good idea to ask your employer about any potential health risks of asbestos in your workplace. Make sure your employer is following best practices of the handling and removal of asbestos.
Mesothelioma Prevention - Asbestos Best Practices: #2 Protective Gear
When working in an area that may contain any amount of asbestos, it is always important you wear protective gear to avoid inhaling any of the cancerous fibers. Always use a respirator, eyewear, disposable coveralls, and rubber boots when working near asbestos. After you are finished with a job, make sure all tools and equipment are washed properly to ensure there is no further contamination outside of the work zone.
Mesothelioma Prevention - Asbestos Best Practices: #3 Clean the Workplace
There are a handful of other precautionary measures employers can take to ensure the safety of their workers. Keeping a worksite moist can help prevent the spread of asbestos, as it makes it more difficult for hazardous fibers to be released into the air. Make sure to seal off a worksite that contains any levels of asbestos. Lastly, be sure to vacuum the work area regularly to trap harmful fibers.