Many Pennsylvania residents are in the final stages of mesothelioma and other types of cancer, with loved ones and care providers doing their best to help them achieve as high quality a life as possible in the time they have left. Have you or a loved one worked in a Pittsburgh factory, steel mill, shipyard, old school building or other location that is a high risk for asbestos exposure?

Perhaps, you live in one of many beautiful, old homes in the city or surrounding Pennsylvania regions. Are you aware that there may be significant asbestos dangers lurking there? If you believe there is even a remote chance that you or your family might suffer asbestos exposure, it’s critical that you know what to do, as well as what not to do, if you discover asbestos in your home or workplace.

Avoid these actions to help improve safety

If you discover asbestos-laden materials, your instinct might be to quickly remove whatever it is from the premises. This is one of the worst things you can do because it greatly increases the risk of asbestos exposure and possible subsequent injuries. In fact, not only should you not touch a product or material you suspect contains asbestos, you should also not re-enter the area until one has safely resolved the matter.

Avoid any type of construction work in an area you think might contain asbestos. This is because sawing, drilling, hammering, scraping or otherwise disturbing said materials can release the dangerous microscopic fibers into the air, thus placing you and all others nearby at great risk for ingestion or inhalation of asbestos.

What you should do

If you believe a room in your home contains asbestos, it is best to stay away from the area. Do not let children play or sleep in their rooms, for instance, if you think floor tiles, ceiling tiles or wallpaper in the room contain asbestos.

If there’s dust in the area, you’ll want to avoid cleaning it. Sweeping, vacuuming or wiping surfaces with a cloth might appear to get rid of the problem. However, the fact is that disturbing the dust can stir it up and release it into the atmosphere, which greatly increases risk of injury.

Those who can help

There are certified asbestos inspectors and contractors who can come to your home or workplace to further investigate a possible asbestos exposure situation and to inform you about the safest ways to remove asbestos from the property.

If you or your loved one have already received a medical diagnosis of a terminal illness caused by asbestos exposure, you can take comfort in knowing that there are many resources available to provide encouragement and practical support to you and your family. Such resources often include in-home care providers, licensed family counselors and legal advocates as well.