What type of dust mask offers the best protection from asbestos fibers? If you are not an asbestos abatement professional, before asking this question you should consider whether or not the project you are undertaking can be safely performed by an amateur.
Generally, the United States Environmental Protection agency advises home owners and others concerned about asbestos-containing materials in their environment to leave them alone, unless they are deteriorating. Think of those older popcorn ceilings, some older duct wrap, or even older drywall.
Improper removal or disturbance of asbestos can lead to the release of toxic asbestos fibers, and can even expose a homeowner to liability. Should removal be necessary, your local health department can help you locate a licensed asbestos removal professional in your area.
Asbestos Mask Myth
Disposable dust masks do not offer sufficient protection from airborne asbestos fibers, which can become lodged in the lungs eventually leading to cancer or other asbestos-related illnesses. If you are working around asbestos, your employer has a duty to provide adequate safety equipment.
Respirators and personal protective equipment must be worn at all times. The New York State Committee for Occupational Safety and Health recommends a Powered Air Purifying Respirator.
Asbestos Mask Failures Have Sparked Litigation
Improper use of disposable dust masks and respirators for asbestos removal work can lead to dangerous exposure. Mask and respirator manufacturer 3M has been named as a defendant in roughly 20,000 cases involving asbestos-related illness contracted by workers using 3M respiratory protection products. In 2002, a Michigan jury ordered 3M to provide $22.5 million in compensation to four plaintiffs who contracted asbestos-related illnesses while relying on 3M products for protection. The company has claimed that their products were not used as intended.
If you are considering asbestos removal, don’t expose yourself to unnecessary risks. Have your property evaluated by an asbestos inspector, and consider leaving materials alone if they are not currently in poor condition. Should removal be necessary, hire a legitimate, licensed asbestos removal company to do the work.
Mesothelioma Victims Deserve Compensation
Improper asbestos safety equipment can lead to deadly illness. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be entitled to compensation. For decades, employers and asbestos product manufacturers understood the dangers associated with asbestos exposure, yet took few steps to protect their workers or the general public. The legal system has held companies liable for this toxic legacy. Call an experienced asbestos litigation law firm today, to discuss your options.
With over 45 years combined experience serving mesothelioma victims, Bergman Draper Oslund is the Northwest’s only law firm devoted exclusively to mesothelioma litigation.
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