Many People Still Ignore Dangers of AsbestosAwareness & Research
Asbestos.com is the nation’s most trusted mesothelioma resource
The Mesothelioma Center at Asbestos.com has provided patients and their loved ones the most updated and reliable information on mesothelioma and asbestos exposure since 2006.
Our team of Patient Advocates includes a medical doctor, a registered nurse, health services administrators, veterans, VA-accredited Claims Agents, an oncology patient navigator and hospice care expert. Their combined expertise means we help any mesothelioma patient or loved one through every step of their cancer journey.
More than 30 contributors, including mesothelioma doctors, survivors, health care professionals and other experts, have peer-reviewed our website and written unique research-driven articles to ensure you get the highest-quality medical and health information.
About The Mesothelioma Center at Asbestos.com
- Assisting mesothelioma patients and their loved ones since 2006.
- Helps more than 50% of mesothelioma patients diagnosed annually in the U.S.
- A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
- 5-star reviewed mesothelioma and support organization.
"My family has only the highest compliment for the assistance and support that we received from The Mesothelioma Center. This is a staff of compassionate and knowledgeable individuals who respect what your family is experiencing and who go the extra mile to make an unfortunate diagnosis less stressful. Information and assistance were provided by The Mesothelioma Center at no cost to our family."LashawnMesothelioma patient’s daughter
How to Cite Asbestos.com’s Article
Swantek, B. (2020, October 16). Many People Still Ignore Dangers of Asbestos. Asbestos.com. Retrieved May 28, 2023, from https://www.asbestos.com/blog/2016/10/17/people-ignore-dangers-asbestos/
Swantek, Beth. "Many People Still Ignore Dangers of Asbestos." Asbestos.com, 16 Oct 2020, https://www.asbestos.com/blog/2016/10/17/people-ignore-dangers-asbestos/.
Swantek, Beth. "Many People Still Ignore Dangers of Asbestos." Asbestos.com. Last modified October 16, 2020. https://www.asbestos.com/blog/2016/10/17/people-ignore-dangers-asbestos/.
Fifteen years ago, I stood in the middle of my living room, looked up at the offensive 1960s ceiling tiles and started crying with a vengeance.
I refused to let the dingy and dated tiles mar the look of our living space any longer.
I clawed and grabbed with my bare hands at the 40-year-old building material. It disintegrated at the touch, falling into messy clumps on the floor and scattering a fine dust in the air.
After removing all the tiles, I tossed the debris into garbage bags and happily dumped them in our garbage cans outside for a one-way ticket to the local landfill.
Today, I look back at that scene in horror. Why? I wore no special clothing or mask for protection, and I never thought of cordoning off the room with plastic sheets to protect my three young children from what might have been deadly asbestos.
Fear of Asbestos Exposure
While I will never know for sure, I strongly suspect that dated ceiling tile contained the cancer-causing mineral. Although the minimal exposure doesn’t pose a long-term health risk, it scares me to know my lungs and those of my husband and children may harbor lethal asbestos fibers.
Ignorance ruled that day.
Like most of us, I’ve watched the late-night television commercials informing people with mesothelioma about possible legal compensation for occupational asbestos exposure. I’ve known asbestos isn’t a good thing, but I never thought I’d be affected.
Asbestos Dangers Are Still Not Taken Seriously
Many older buildings in the U.S. contain some form of asbestos — floor or ceiling tiles, plumbing pipe insulation, roofing insulation or any combination of these. Builders used asbestos profusely from the turn of the century to the 1970s because of its excellent fire-retardant qualities.
I’m involved in an ongoing renovation of our 1950s church, and it reminded me recently of that possible exposure to asbestos from a few months ago. As we update our church building, we continue encountering asbestos floor tiles in different areas.
I’ve noticed a careless and fearless attitude among the volunteers engaged in removing the asbestos floor tiles.
My own ignorance of asbestos ended a year and a half ago when I began writing for Asbestos.com. I read extensively about asbestos in order to prepare for the new assignment.
Suddenly, I understood what all the hoopla was about:
- 3,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with mesothelioma each year
- Average life expectancy after diagnosis is 12-21 months
- Cancer remains latent for 10-50 years after exposure
Asbestos is a substance not to be reckoned with unprepared.
Furthermore, I learned of two people I knew, my uncle and my sister’s father-in-law, who lost their lives to mesothelioma. My mom and sister never mentioned the specifics of their loved ones’ cancer until they heard I wrote about asbestos and asbestos-related diseases.
That hit close to home.