About Asbestos And Your Children;
Asbestos is a natural mineral fiber that was widely used due to its physical characteristic in resisting fire and heat. Asbestos was used as a fireproofing material, pipe and ceiling insulation, and in the construction of schools, homes, and public buildings from the 1940s through the 1970s. When asbestos fibers are inhaled in high levels it result in terrible and often terminal illness, it causes serious chronic health problems to many body organs such as the lungs, throat, and gastrointestinal tract, including a rare form of chest cancer (called mesothelioma) that affects the lining of the lungs or stomach. In most cases, symptoms of asbestos related disease do not occur as long as five decades after asbestos exposure. Today, schools are mandated by law to either remove asbestos or otherwise to ensure that every child and every school employee are not exposed to it and has are environmentally safe and healthy at school. However, it is still in some older homes, especially as insulation around pipes, stoves, and furnaces, as well as in walls and ceilings. Even if asbestos is in your home and not distributed or crumbled, it’s usually not a serious problem, only when if it releases microscopic asbestos fibers into the air.
Why Asbestos is more dangerous for children?
It is now known that asbestos fibers may lead to potentially fatal diseases, a serious effect on the health of everyone who breathes them in, regular exposure to asbestos may later develop asbestosis or lung cancer such as malignant mesothelioma and other types of cancer.
While this is a problem that may affect people of all ages, the likelihood of exposure may be heightened for children because children have greater respiratory rates than adults, as they breathe more rapidly and their intake to air is higher leading them to have a greater volume of air than adults.
As a result, propositionally to children’s body weight they inhale more pollutants per pound of body weight than adults. They also spend more time engaged in vigorous activity than adults for example height and play habits (crawling, rolling), they can be exposed to heavier aerosols fibers precipitated on the grounds rather than distributed in air . Children’s are still in a developing stage that means that their lung with narrower airways, yet small with physiological vulnerability to air pollution. Air polluted with asbestos fibers cause Irritation in a slight response in an adult while it can cause significant obstruction in children’s airways.
Furthermore, young children often have a habit of putting their hands or objects weather clean or contaminated dust and soil and are unknowingly brought to the mouth and swallowed, which can be dangerous. Another way in which babies have a risk to asbestos hazards … babies lack of food variability and need an infant formula which requires water, if water come into contact with the mineral and is tainted by asbestos-containing cement pipes, thus pollutant exposure in babies occurs.
Children and Asbestos Home Exposure;
For decades asbestos was used in many constructions. Old homes built prior to the 1980s, is not clearly labeled as asbestos-free, asbestos popularity during the 20th century led to its common use and to be found throughout the structure such as insulation around pipes, stoves and furnaces , ceilings, drywall, roofing shingles, siding, older floor tiles, and certain electrical appliances .If you live in an older home, the good news is that as long as the asbestos-containing material is in good shape there is low chance for asbestos to release dangerous mineral fibers into the air. In general the product should be left alone and undisturbed and to be considering having it inspected by an asbestos professional will be a good choice.
However, if you discover that the material is deteriorating, or you plan on making some renovations, you must take the proper precautions. Do not attempt to remove asbestos products or take samples yourself. Do not try to remove asbestos yourself, do not attempt to remove or sample the asbestos suspected material yourself, by this you may expose yourself and your family to toxic, inhalable fibers, Hire a professional who can safely take samples from any suspect materials in your home.
What Locations In Home May Have Asbestos?
Your home may have asbestos in:
• Insulation around steam pipes, walls and floors around wood-burning stoves, and oil and coal furnaces (the most common locations).
• Insulation in walls ceilings and around hot water, such as sprayed-on or troweled-on material or vermiculite attic insulation.
• Patching and spackling compounds and textured paint used on wall and ceilings
• Roof and siding shingles
• Older appliances, such as washers and dryers
• Older Vinyl floor tiles and the backing on vinyl sheet flooring
• Artificial ashes and embers in gas fireplaces
Asbestos Exposure Symptoms Children May Have;
Mesothelioma has a very long latency; consequently symptoms of asbestos related illness due to home exposure will appear many many years later as an adult on average occurring more than fifty years after the first exposure although large exposures can have a shorter latency. Typical asbestos exposures in homes are low level relatively compared with occupations with a traditionally high risk.
Children who develop Mesothelioma cancer often show the same symptoms as adults, symptoms may include: a persistent, productive cough, tightness in the chest, chest pain, pleural effusions (excess fluid in the lungs and constant abdominal swelling , a dry crackling sound during inhalation, unexplained loss of appetite and weight loss, sore throat, weakness, anemia, acute, blood clotting abnormalities, and fever.
The above mentioned symptoms are the most common symptoms with many other medical conditions associated with lung diseases including also asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma. If your child is experiencing these symptoms and you believe your child had asbestos exposure see a doctor immediately.
How To Keep Your Baby Safe If Your Home Contains Asbestos?
Here’s what you can do:
• If your home contains asbestos have your home, water, and children tested.
• Asbestos hazards affect children in different ways, so if you think you and our child are exposed to asbestos in your home; hire a home inspector who belongs to a professional association to check your home. If your home contains asbestos that’s in good condition, do not disturb and leave it alone. Become knowledgeable about asbestos in your home to reduce any risks.
• If the asbestos is not in a good condition and must be removed, hire a professional licensed contractor to remove asbestos, don’t be shy and make sure you’re at home to inspect the work.
• Recognize how dangerous it is for your child to be around disturbed asbestos and don’t let them near anything that may contain asbestos.
• Don’t touch, remove, dust or sweep or vacuum debris that may contain asbestos.