One Man's Asbestos Awareness Journey
- June 21, 2016
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- Posted in AsbestosHealthIndoor Air Quality (IAQ)
By Tom Mead, Executive Director, PACNY
April 1st to the 7th is Asbestos Awareness Week. Most people think the asbestos problem was resolved years ago, but in reality only 55 countries have abandoned asbestos completely; the US and Canada are the only 2 industrial western nations not to have done so. In fact, worldwide, more than 107,000 people die each year from asbestos-related diseases, with about 10,000 a year in the US alone. There are only two ways to eliminate asbestos-related disease – prevention or a cure- and the best path to prevention is educating people about how to prevent it.
Since 1900, 31 million metric tons of asbestos have been consumed in the US and in 2012 1,060 metric tons were consumed. This does not include imported construction materials that are not supposed to contain asbestos but do. As I look at my own asbestos history, the first exposure I was aware of was as a kid at our Boys Club. Our pool had a blown-on asbestos fireproofing applied to wire mesh used as an insulator and for sound retention as well. We used to bounce on the diving board until we could get high enough to grab chunks and pull it down. In the mid 70’s I bought asbestos cement board to use as a fire stop for a wood stove installation.
Click HERE to read the entire article in Healthy Indoors Magazine.