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Thread: Concerned about possible asbestos exposure for no specific reason.

  1. #1
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    Concerned about possible asbestos exposure for no specific reason.

    This is different than anything I've dealt with before; I'm 29 and don't think that I'm currently ill with anything related to asbestos, but that I could eventually become ill because of potential exposure. I must have seen one of those mesothelioma lawsuit ads that randomly appear online and on TV, but that made me go down an asbestos rabbit hole. I wouldn't consider myself "high-risk" for something like mesothelioma, because I have never worked a job that would have exposed me to asbestos or been around anyone who has, nor have I ever been a smoker, but I grew up in a relatively old home built in the late 1960s that my father and professionals did work on throughout the years. To be fair to my father, he is knowledgeable about what's involved in building a home and wouldn't do something major like taking down an entire old ceiling without doing his homework first and consulting a professional. For example, I remember he decided to get a sample of the kitchen floor that was decades old tested for asbestos at a lab before ripping it up, and fortunately it didn't have asbestos. The main concern I have is that he or someone working on the house might have ripped down an old wall with asbestos behind it at some point or something like that, as I'm almost 100% the other usual suspects for asbestos in a home weren't present by the time I was born. I know this is a very specific concern, but I know that it is common knowledge that homes built before around 1975 like the one I grew up in are more likely than not to have asbestos somewhere in them.

    I know I can't be concerned about getting mesothelioma for decades over exposure I'm not even sure happened, as that is no way to live. I also know that my father is certainly not the only one to have done DIY projects in a home that isn't new. I think what bothers me the most about this is the possibility that I was exposed at a young age, meaning if I did get mesothelioma in the future, it might be at a very young age.
    Last edited by beq45; 19-02-21 at 02:26.

  2. #2
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    Re: Concerned about possible asbestos exposure for no specific reason.

    Am I being irrational here?

  3. #3
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    Re: Concerned about possible asbestos exposure for no specific reason.

    Quote Originally Posted by beq45 View Post
    Am I being irrational here?
    What do you think?

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    Re: Concerned about possible asbestos exposure for no specific reason.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fishmanpa View Post
    What do you think?

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    I’m honestly not sure, as mesothelioma typically won’t show up for decades after exposure, which is very concerning. Also, while it’s not like I have been working in an asbestos mine for years, I feel like I might have had more background exposure than some people.

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    Re: Concerned about possible asbestos exposure for no specific reason.

    Quote Originally Posted by beq45 View Post
    Iím honestly not sure, as mesothelioma typically wonít show up for decades after exposure, which is very concerning. Also, while itís not like I have been working in an asbestos mine for years, I feel like I might have had more background exposure than some people.
    Well, in my life I have been exposed to fibres from the asbestos mats in the draw in the chemistry labs at school, fibres from a hobby interest and potentially from damage to the fabric of 1960s buildings which used AIB.

    So far, still here and the school exposure was forty years ago.

  6. #6

    Re: Concerned about possible asbestos exposure for no specific reason.

    Hi - I understand your concern and I don't think you are being totally unrational about this as asbestos exposure isn't something to fool around with. However, more likely than not you really don't have anything to worry about. I do find it reassuring to know that your father did work on the house for years and it sounds like he knows what he is doing, i.e. checking the kitchen floor before doing work on it. There being found no asbestos in that area makes the idea that there would be asbestos anywhere else more unlikely. Unless the asbestos is out in the open it's not likely to cause a problem. Think of all the people who were born in the '20's and '30's that lived in houses with asbestos. The vast majority of those people came out unscathed. And there were people who worked in these houses without a clue of the asbestos dangers and they also have come out unscathed.

    My house was built in the 1930's and I have asbestos around my pipes in my basement (in one area the asbestos is definitely doing some major crumbling). I have someone coming out tomorrow to give me a quote on removing it. In doing research over the weekend on this subject I found out that plaster walls can contain asbestos and they must be tested before removing. This has me more than a little bit concerned because there is one area in my kitchen where a big chunk of plaster fell out about 3-4 years ago. I thought nothing of it and swept it up. Since then a few more pieces have fallen out and I pick them up, throw them out, and sweep up the mess. Now I find out how dangerous this may have been. Just to get this tested will cost a minimum of $500.00.

  7. #7
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    Re: Concerned about possible asbestos exposure for no specific reason.

    Quote Originally Posted by FamilyPicnic View Post
    Hi - I understand your concern and I don't think you are being totally unrational about this as asbestos exposure isn't something to fool around with. However, more likely than not you really don't have anything to worry about. I do find it reassuring to know that your father did work on the house for years and it sounds like he knows what he is doing, i.e. checking the kitchen floor before doing work on it. There being found no asbestos in that area makes the idea that there would be asbestos anywhere else more unlikely. Unless the asbestos is out in the open it's not likely to cause a problem. Think of all the people who were born in the '20's and '30's that lived in houses with asbestos. The vast majority of those people came out unscathed. And there were people who worked in these houses without a clue of the asbestos dangers and they also have come out unscathed.

    My house was built in the 1930's and I have asbestos around my pipes in my basement (in one area the asbestos is definitely doing some major crumbling). I have someone coming out tomorrow to give me a quote on removing it. In doing research over the weekend on this subject I found out that plaster walls can contain asbestos and they must be tested before removing. This has me more than a little bit concerned because there is one area in my kitchen where a big chunk of plaster fell out about 3-4 years ago. I thought nothing of it and swept it up. Since then a few more pieces have fallen out and I pick them up, throw them out, and sweep up the mess. Now I find out how dangerous this may have been. Just to get this tested will cost a minimum of $500.00.
    What you said about people working on homes decades ago is a very good point, and that’s why I’m concerned, but not panicking. I think what bothers me is there’s a lot of conflicting information on the web about the subject. What I mean by that is any information coming from lawyers who have an interest in the matter will practically try to convince you that breathing one asbestos fiber will give you mesothelioma, while others will tell you about how their grandfather was blasted in the face with asbestos dust as part of his job for decades and died at a very old age from a heart attack. It’s hard to read between the lines when you also read stories about people who have no obvious risk factors for mesothelioma who get it at a relatively young age.

    I suppose we would have already seen another wave of mesothelioma cases if DIY work was a risk factor, but I’m no specialist and I know that it can take decades for this disease to show up. It’s apparently a rare disease, even with the groups of people most at risk...
    Last edited by beq45; 22-02-21 at 22:47.

  8. #8
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    Re: Concerned about possible asbestos exposure for no specific reason.

    Quote Originally Posted by beq45 View Post
    I suppose we would have already seen another wave of mesothelioma cases if DIY work was a risk factor, but I’m no specialist and I know that it can take decades for this disease to show up. It’s apparently a rare disease, even with the groups of people most at risk...
    Which makes your worry?

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    The best help is the help you give yourself! http://cbt4panic.org/

  9. #9

    Re: Concerned about possible asbestos exposure for no specific reason.

    Quote Originally Posted by beq45 View Post
    What you said about people working on homes decades ago is a very good point, and thatís why Iím concerned, but not panicking. I think what bothers me is thereís a lot of conflicting information on the web about the subject. What I mean by that is any information coming from lawyers who have an interest in the matter will practically try to convince you that breathing one asbestos fiber will give you mesothelioma, while others will tell you about how their grandfather was blasted in the face with asbestos dust as part of his job for decades and died at a very old age from a heart attack. Itís hard to read between the lines when you also read stories about people who have no obvious risk factors for mesothelioma who get it at a relatively young age.
    Yes, I agree about this conflicting info. I see the same thing in trying to find if "all" houses with plaster have asbestos in the plaster or only very few do. And I read that almost every house does as well as read that only commercial buildings that required fireproofing do and it was rare in a residential building.

    On reassuring thing I read was that most mesothelioma cases are in those who are both 1) heavy smokers and 2) have had a LOT of asbestos exposure. And not all asbestos is harmful from what I understand.

  10. #10
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    Re: Concerned about possible asbestos exposure for no specific reason.

    Quote Originally Posted by FamilyPicnic View Post
    Yes, I agree about this conflicting info. I see the same thing in trying to find if "all" houses with plaster have asbestos in the plaster or only very few do. And I read that almost every house does as well as read that only commercial buildings that required fireproofing do and it was rare in a residential building.

    On reassuring thing I read was that most mesothelioma cases are in those who are both 1) heavy smokers and 2) have had a LOT of asbestos exposure. And not all asbestos is harmful from what I understand.
    I was going to try to avoid doing this, but I think I’m going to ask my dad if he thinks anything might have had asbestos when he did renovations. I already asked him if the textured ceiling contains asbestos, because I remembered an HVAC cutting through the ceiling to install vents for the central air, but he said it is newer mud/drywall. Seeing as how my dad is pretty knowledgeable about home improvement and how asbestos has been viewed as a health threat since the 1970s, I imagine the potential for things to contain asbestos must have crossed his mind. Like I said, I know he had the old kitchen floor tested, and that was definitely asbestos-free, but my concern is mostly regarding the original walls and what was behind them. Also, the attic has fiberglass insulation, and the furnace definitely never had asbestos around it, so I can’t really think of anything else that would have contained asbestos besides the old walls and maybe some old wallpaper (regular paper, not vinyl, I believe).
    Last edited by beq45; 23-02-21 at 17:51.

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