Mesothelioma is a rare cancer, usually associated with previous exposure to asbestos. 70% to 80% of people diagnosed with the disease had a history of exposure to asbestos containing material. Mesothelioma is extremely painful and usually fatal unless detected early.
Asbestos was widely used in many building and industrial materials, including siding panels, roof shingles, mortar, flooring and insulation. Asbestos containing material still exist in many homes. Here are some EPA recommendations for dealing with asbestos around the home:
Leave asbestos alone. Generally, material in good condition will not release asbestos fibers. The danger occurs when fibers are released and inhaled into the lungs. For a list of materials that possibly contain asbestos, visit http://www.epa.gov/asbestos/
Inspect asbestos-containing material regularly for visible signs of wear without touching it.
Generally limit activities in any areas having damaged asbestos material. In particular, keep children away from such areas.
Avoid sweeping, or vacuuming debris that may contain asbestos. Also avoid sanding, scraping, or drilling holes in materials that possibly contain asbestos.
Have removal and major repair done by people trained and qualified in handling asbestos. It is highly recommended that sampling, cleaning and minor repair also be done by asbestos professionals.
If you need to discard asbestos material, check with local health, environmental, or other appropriate officials for proper handling and disposal procedures.
For more information on dealing with asbestos, please visit http://www.epa.gov/asbestos/