What to do if you’ve been exposed to asbestos?

If you suspect you may have been exposed to asbestos, or know for sure that you have, you’re likely experiencing a whirlwind of worry. In most cases, one time exposure to asbestos rarely leads to any health problems, and shouldn’t be a cause for concern. Depending on the type of asbestos you’ve been exposed to, friable (powder form) has more chances of spreading and can be hazardous if inhaled or swallowed at large quantities. Luckily, friable asbestos is quite uncommon, and is rarely used in construction or products. If you’re wondering ‘what to do if you’ve been exposed to asbestos’, the following tips are advised.

What to do if exposed to asbestos 

Consult a doctor
First and foremost, if you think you’ve been exposed to asbestos, it’s important you see a doctor as soon as possible. Luckily, one time exposure to asbestos rarely leads to health problems, as asbestos related health issues typically evolve from multiple times of exposure. Even then, most people won’t show symptoms of asbestos disease for decades after exposure. However, a doctor can keep a close eye on you and monitor your health over the years, paying particular attention to your chest and lungs for any warning signs. 

What to do if you have any symptoms?
If you’ve had asbestos exposure in the home and are exhibiting any of the following symptoms, you’ll want to see a doctor immediately to have your chest x-rayed. As the body is unable to get rid of asbestos, an x-ray will show if your lungs are damaged. Though it’s not possible to reverse asbestos related lung damage, there are a number of treatment options available to manage it. However, Mesothelioma and lung cancer may require chemotherapy or lung surgery. 

Symptoms of asbestosis include: 

  • A persistent dry cough or wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain or tightness
  • Swollen fingertips
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unusual weight loss

What to do if exposed to asbestos: My company has exposed me to asbestos 

If you’ve been exposed to asbestos at work, it’s recommended you see a doctor immediately for a diagnosis. Unless you’re diagnosed with an asbestos related illness (which could take years to develop) it may be difficult to claim compensation but it’s worth contacting an attorney just in case. You may also want to contact the Fair Work Ombudsman for more advice on your rights to protection as a worker. 

What should you do with asbestos contaminated clothing? 

Unlike normal dirt, it’s important you don’t try to pat down or shake clothing that you suspect contains asbestos. You also shouldn’t attempt to wash your clothes in a washing machine as it will only spread the asbestos. it’s recommended you immediately call an asbestos removal business who can send an asbestos removal expert over to help you dispose your clothing safely. An asbestos removalist can then arrive at your home wearing appropriate PPE gear, and place your clothing in special sealed bag for transportation and disposal. If you’re wondering ‘what should you do with asbestos contaminated clothing?’ remember to not wash or dispose of your clothes yourself – call an expert immediately.

Asbestos services Brisbane

If you’ve had asbestos exposure in the home and are unsure what to do, you can call Myers Asbestos Removal on 0412 314 588 and one of our asbestos removal experts can offer some advice. Just remember, one time exposure to asbestos rarely leads to complications, but it’s good to have peace of mind just in case.

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