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What are the best ways to protect against asbestos?

Workers who may encounter asbestos need to know that it is highly dangerous and can even be deadly. It is a known carcinogen, or a cancer-causing substance, and the mesothelioma that it often leads to is so deadly that the use of asbestos has been largely outlawed in the United States.

That said, since it was used for so many years in the construction industry, modern workers may still encounter it. Much of the danger is when the strands of asbestos get broken apart and turn to dust in the air. This causes workers in the area to inhale it or swallow it, and the microscopic particles become trapped within the body.

So, how should you be protected from asbestos on the job? The very best thing to do is to prevent the asbestos from getting into the air to begin with. You can do this with special work practices and engineering controls. Dust control is possible with special care and specific tools designed for the job.

Another key, of course, is to identify asbestos in advance so that it can be removed properly. It is not something you want to discover after the fact.

Finally, workers always want to have the right type of respirator or mask. Please note that a normal dust mask will not be sufficient. It is simply not rated highly enough to keep asbestos from being inhaled. Once you have the right mask, you need training in how to wear it properly.

All of this can help, but it does not guarantee that you will never get exposed to asbestos. If you do, you face serious risks. Be sure you are well aware of all of your legal options.

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