Health Literacy Part One: How Can You Prevent Home, School, and Workplace Asbestos Exposure?

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Posted on October 8, 2012

Preventing asbestos exposure (Oct 8)

High-risk occupations (Oct 15)

Early warning symptoms of asbestos disease (Oct 22)

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, nearly 9 out of 10 adults have difficulty using the everyday health information that is routinely available to them. To address this problem, October is Health Literacy Month. In light of Health Literacy Month’s “Take Action” theme this year, ADAO is featuring three weekly blogs with information about preventing asbestos exposure (Oct 8), high-risk occupations (Oct 15), and early warning symptoms of asbestos disease (Oct 22).  These blogs address the frequently asked questions that we have received during the last nine years.

Asbestos is still legal and lethal in the U.S., and you may have it in your home, school or office. Although safer substitutes exist, the U.S. Geological Survey reported that the U.S. consumed 1,180 metric tons of asbestos in 2011 “to meet manufacturing needs.”   As our graphic says, “The only two ways to end asbestos-caused diseases are prevention and cure.” To protect your loved ones from asbestos exposure, take the following steps:

  1. Know that asbestos is a known carcinogen. 
  2. Read and share the U.S. Surgeon General’s Asbestos Awareness Statement (April 2009)
  3. Understand where asbestos might be in your home, school, and workplace.
  4. Never test, remove or even sweep up asbestos yourself! Contact your EPA regional office for a list of licensed asbestos professionals in your area.

If you have any reason for concern, visit www.epa.gov/asbestos/ for more information or call the EPA’s Asbestos Ombudsman at 800-368-5888 or contact the Environmental Information Association, a multidisciplinary non-profit association, for testing and abatement inquires.

For more information about asbestos exposure at home, download our one-page flyer: “Identifying Asbestos in Your Home.”

For more on workplace exposure, visit us again next week for our second Health Literacy Month blog: High-Risk Occupations

Also, Take Action during Health Literacy Month by completing ADAO’s Online Mesothelioma Survey.  It only takes five minutes to share your recommendations, knowledge and experience. Click here to complete the “Supportive Resources in the Mesothelioma Community” Survey.

Together, change is possible.

Linda

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