That's right, March 15th - 21st is poison prevention week. Up until a few short weeks ago, I did not know this was a thing! This blog post may be later in the week, and the last day of poison prevention week is tomorrow, but bringing awareness on the issue never has an expiration date.
Below is an infographic that illustrates just how common poisons are (you can also click the image to see it enlarged and to go to the site for the US Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services division for poison help):
I have the Poison Help Hotline number stored in my smartphone. Do you?
If not, add it right now!
It's 1-800-222-1222, and it can be a life saver!
Today I also want to share some information about asbestos. Asbestos is the cause of three major lung conditions. Mesothelioma is one of them.
Although it is not a condition that directly affects my immediate family or me, it's important, because it is a mineral that we have probably all had at least a little bit of exposure to at some point in time. We all know that cancer is no fun. There are so many types of cancers, and the causes are extremely widespread - sometimes even unknown. In an effort to be as healthy as possible and prevent any form of cancer from making an unwanted appearance as best we can, knowing carcinogens, or even potential carcinogens, in our environment can help. Knowledge is power.
Have any of you seen or heard commercials about mesothelioma? I know I have. In a commercial, it talks about mesothelioma being caused by asbestos exposure.
So what is asbestos, anyway? Asbestos is a known human carcinogen, in the form of microscopic fibers that can be inhaled or swallowed and, in time, cause serious damage. It was discovered in the late 1970s that asbestos exposure posed a thread to health and safety, so the use of it declined. Asbestos fibers are very durable and resistant to fire, which is why it was a go-to source for both commercial and industrial use. However, even though it is now classified as a known carcinogen, according to the CDC, it is still widely used and imported to the U.S. A list of banned and non-banned asbestos-containing products can be found here.
Image courtesy of the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance.An astonishing 70-80% of all mesothelioma cases are caused by job-related exposure to asbestos. It is typically jobs in the industrial settings, shipyards, auto repair shops, and construction that might have the problem of asbestos exposure. But it can also be found in old homes, schools and public buildings, because asbestos was so commonly used.
These are some of the current commercial uses on the CDC list that stood out to me:
- auto clutches
- brake pads
- imported cement pipe
- roofing materials
This tells me that auto repair shops and construction workers are still at risk for asbestos exposure!
Read more about toxins in the home and what to do if there is asbestos present at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Blog.
Here are some quick facts about mesothelioma:
- About 3,000 people each year in the U.S. are diagnosed with mesothelioma.
- Even though asbestos-use has declined, the incidence of mesothelioma cancer still remains steady.
- There is no cure.
- It is more common in men over age 60.
- Short-term and one-time exposures to asbestos have also been known to cause mesothelioma cancer (long-term exposure is the usual culprit).
Learn more about mesothelioma and visit the following website:
The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance
*** Disclosure: A few weeks ago, the Community Outreach Director for the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance contacted me, asking if I would be able to publish a post about asbestos to raise awareness. Of course, wanting to use my blogger voice for #socialgood, I agreed. This is NOT a sponsored post. I am no health care professional, but all information presented here comes from reputable sources mentioned.
All information was obtained from the following sites:
Other great resources (both government sites):
Agency for Toxic Substances & Diseases Registry with the Centers for Disease Control (ATSDR at CDC)
Asbestos Exposure and Cancer Risk at National Cancer Institute
Consumer Product Safety Commission: Asbestos in the Home
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