I lost my dad to mesothelioma on June 12, 2016. He was diagnosed in March of that year.
I had heard of mesothelioma before but I really didn’t know much about it. I didn’t know it was caused by asbestos. In fact, I had heard of asbestos before but really didn’t know much about it either. I was one of those people, that if it didn’t affect me or someone I knew and loved, then it wasn’t on my radar.
Since my dad’s diagnosis, not only do I know a lot about mesothelioma, but I know a lot about asbestos and I educate myself as much as I can about the two. I just wish it didn’t take my dad getting sick to learn about it.
An Education in Asbestos
I never realized how many products contained asbestos. It was in brake pads, insulation, even the drywall had asbestos in it, as well as talc powder we used. The list goes on and on.
My dad was a tool and die maker and worked in a factory for many years. Things they worked around contained asbestos and it only takes a very small amount to inhale for a person to be at risk. It can take anywhere from 20 to 50 years from the time a person was first exposed to asbestos until they are diagnosed with mesothelioma.
I firmly believe that more people have died from mesothelioma but weren’t properly diagnosed. In fact, I think the amount of people we see today who have, or had, mesothelioma is just the tip of the iceberg.
A lot of homes and buildings still have asbestos in them. Businesses don’t want to rid their building of asbestos because of the cost. Many people don’t even know their home has asbestos in it.
It isn’t really something people think about. I never thought about it and neither did my family and friends. Personally, I was naive to think that anyone who knew asbestos was bad for our health, would continue to use it in their products.
How to Make Things Better
Until we get asbestos banned completely, we will always have to worry about asbestos-related illnesses. I personally do not want to see something like mesothelioma take another person I love. Because there were so many products that contained asbestos before the year 2000, one way we can help protect ourselves in the home is to hire a professional who specializes in asbestos to come in and check the house for before doing any remodeling, renovations, demolitions, or additions. If asbestos is found, hire a professional to come in and remove it. Make sure it’s someone who is certified to remove asbestos!
If the house has vermiculite insulation – which can contain asbestos – don’t disturb anything and seal all holes and cracks in the house. If you work on any vehicles, call the auto parts store to see if any of the parts you need contain asbestos. If you work in maintenance and the building you work in contains asbestos, make sure you report asbestos to the proper authorities at your workplace.
Until we can get our government to completely ban all asbestos in this country, we need to protect ourselves and our family. We need to get more people in our country to speak up and put pressure on the government to ban asbestos in all products. As long as people don’t speak up nothing will get done. We’ve already lost enough people to mesothelioma. It’s time to put an end to this!
Contributed by Cindy Zody