You can be exposed to asbestos by breathing in asbestos fibers. This happens when you disturb rocks, soil, or products containing asbestos that then release asbestos fibers into the air. If you breathe these fibers into your lungs, they could remain there forever, causing a lifetime of health problems.
But if the asbestos in rocks, soil, or commercial products is not disturbed, you’re unlikely to breathe in fibers and be exposed. So, who is at risk for asbestos exposure? Because asbestos has been used for many years, almost everyone has been exposed to it at some time. But people who worked with asbestos or spent a long time around it will have higher exposure. The following are tips to help keep everyone safe from asbestos exposure.
If you work or live around asbestos or asbestos-containing materials:
If you live in an area with natural asbestos deposits or near an area contaminated by old asbestos-containing products, keep asbestos levels low in your home by:
If you work or play outside in areas with natural asbestos deposits or near areas contaminated by old asbestos-containing products, reduce your exposure by:
If you want more information on limiting your environmental exposure to asbestos, or if you have specific questions, contact the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) at 800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) or TTY 888-232-6348. ATSDR’s website for asbestos has more information and links to other resources.