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Indoor Air Quality and Environmental Experts


Addressing Asbestos Exposure For Child Safety

Group Of Children Playing In ParkIf there is one thing that bonds all parents, it’s that the health and safety of their children are top priorities. Obviously, our children depend on us to keep them safe from harm. And, as parents, all we can do is our very best to protect them. However, we don’t always have the ability to protect them against everything in the world that can cause illness or injury. And, in the case of asbestos, this is especially true.

Many people have been affected by asbestos without even knowing it. And with the respiratory systems of young children being so vulnerable, they are more susceptible to encountering the negative effects of asbestos exposure. As HealthyChildren.org informs us, asbestos “does not pose health risks unless it deteriorates and becomes crumbly, when it can release microscopic asbestos fibres into the air.”

The site notes, however, that this fibre was commonly used for the purposes of insulation and soundproofing in schools between the 1940s and 1970s. Many of these schools, of course, are still standing today. When various changes via renovations take place in schools, a cause for concern about asbestos exposure is more than reasonable. Again, how can parents protect their children from such an occurrence?

“Today, schools are mandated by law to either remove asbestos or otherwise ensure that children are not exposed to it,” HealthChildren.org reports, “However, it is still in some older homes, especially as insulation around pipes, stoves, and furnaces, as well as in walls and ceilings.” Asbestos can also be located in many of our workplaces. As a result, children have been known to be at risk of “secondary exposure” to asbestos.

“In asbestos-heavy work environments, certain activities can expel toxic fibres into the air,” explains Joey Rosenburg on Asbestos.com, “This occurs when asbestos products are cut, sawed, sanded, ground or otherwise disturbed. Aside from the obvious risks of firsthand exposure, suspended asbestos fibres can get distributed through ventilation ducts. They also often penetrate into workers’ clothing.”

Rosenburg notes how important it is for such workers to change out of their contaminated clothes before returning home from work. That way, they can eliminate the possibility of polluting their homes with asbestos fibres which can put their families in harm’s way. Thankfully, he does also note that asbestos cancer in children and young adults is very rare. Only 2 to 5 percent of all cases are found in this age grouping.

However, Rosenburg does reveal that “researchers claim that childhood exposure to asbestos may increase the risk for mesothelioma, but the time between initial asbestos exposure and a diagnosis, known as the latency period, is often lengthy. In one study describing five patients indirectly exposed to asbestos during childhood, the average latency period was 25.2 years, and the average age at diagnosis was 32 years old.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we firmly believe that it is imperative that you check for asbestos in your home. This is especially important if you plan on doing any renovating that may potentially disturb asbestos fibres and make them airborne. Needless to say, the health and safety of our children come first. For more information about our Asbestos Containing Material (ACM) Services, call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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