How to Stop Worrying About Asbestos | Asbestos Anxiety Tips

Find out how to stop worrying about asbestos while staying safe and maintaining peace of mind.

Asbestos exposure is the No. 1 cause of work-related deaths around the world. It can lead to some of the deadliest diseases, such as lung cancer, asbestosis, and mesothelioma. Shockingly, around 90,000 people die every year due to asbestos-related diseases.

The above facts are enough to send shivers down anyone's spine who is already concerned about asbestos. However, those are only one side of the picture.

Asbestos-related deaths are not even close to the other common causes of death. The leading cause of death globally is Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), taking an estimated 17.9 million lives each year. Even diabetes causes far more deaths than asbestos-related disease and was responsible for 6.7 million deaths worldwide in 2021. 

Asbestos is undoubtedly a dangerous substance, and it's possible that it may be present in your surroundings. But this does not mean that you are automatically exposed to asbestos or that you will develop an asbestos-related disease. 

When Should You Be Worried About Asbestos?

The risk of developing an asbestos-related disease depends on several factors, and you should be concerned about asbestos if;

  • You have been exposed to asbestos fibers in the air for a long time or repeatedly, especially if you smoke or have a pre-existing lung disease.
  • You work in an occupation that involves handling or processing asbestos or asbestos-containing products, such as mining, construction, manufacturing, or shipbuilding.
  • You live or work in an older building that has damaged or deteriorating materials that may contain asbestos, such as insulation, tiles, cement, or pipes.
  • You have been involved in a natural disaster or an accident that has damaged or disturbed asbestos materials, such as an earthquake, a fire, or a collision.


Facts That Can Help You Stop Worrying About Asbestos

If you are worried about asbestos without any of the above reasons, it may help to know some facts that can reassure you and reduce your anxiety.

Here is the other side of the picture:

    1. Asbestos is regulated and banned in many countries

    Many countries have banned or restricted the use, production, and trade of asbestos and asbestos-containing products since the 1980s after discovering its health risks. As of 2022, over 67 countries have restricted or prohibited its use.

    2. Having asbestos in your home is not a serious problem

    Asbestos is not present in every building and is not used in new construction materials. Houses built after the 1980s in the US and after 2000 in the UK are less likely to contain asbestos. 

    Even if asbestos is present in your home, this is usually NOT a serious problem. Asbestos is only dangerous when it is disturbed or damaged, and its fibers become airborne. If asbestos is in good condition and not disturbed, it is unlikely to pose a health risk.

    3. Asbestos exposure does not always lead to disease

    One-time exposure to asbestos is rarely harmful. Asbestos-related diseases are usually caused by months or years of regular workplace exposure. Also, the risk of developing an asbestos-related disease depends on the amount of asbestos, frequency, and duration of exposure, as well as other factors such as smoking, genetics, and the immune system. 

    Moreover, Asbestos-related diseases are not contagious, meaning you cannot catch mesothelioma, asbestosis, or lung cancer from someone who has developed these diseases.

    4. Asbestos-related diseases are preventable

    Asbestos-related diseases are preventable if you avoid asbestos exposure. You need to educate yourself about where asbestos may be hiding. An asbestos awareness course can help you identify the potential locations where asbestos may be found and how to prevent exposure. 

    Also, asbestos-related diseases have a long latency period. This means that they can take 10 to 50 years or more to develop after the first exposure. This also means that you have time to monitor your health and seek medical attention if you notice any symptoms or signs of disease. 

    Key Steps to Stop Worrying About Asbestos

    While being concerned about your health and safety is normal, excessive worrying can negatively affect your mental and physical well-being. Therefore, it is important to learn how to cope with your asbestos anxiety and take practical steps to reduce your risk of asbestos exposure. The following are the key steps that can help you stop worrying about asbestos.

    1. Educate yourself about asbestos

    One of the best ways to overcome your fear of asbestos is to educate yourself about what it is, where it is found, how it affects your health, and how you can protect yourself from it. By learning more about asbestos, you can better understand the risks and benefits of different actions, such as testing, removal, or management of asbestos materials. You can also avoid falling prey to myths, misinformation, or scams that may increase your anxiety or harm your health.

    An asbestos awareness course can help you gain essential knowledge to prevent accidental exposure. You can find many reputable and affordable asbestos awareness courses online, such as the Asbestos Awareness Course offered by Alison.

    Jawad Chand

    Jawad Chand is an occupational health & safety practitioner and trainer with extensive experience in oil & gas safety management, process safety, pharmaceuticals hazard control, and health & safety management systems. He is a highly qualified professional with the most prestigious degrees in Business Administration, Chemical Engineering, and Occupational Health & Safety.

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