A guide to asbestos before, during and after natural disasters
By Franklin Chen
Natural disasters such as wildfires, hurricanes, and floods can cause significant damage to buildings, many of which contain asbestos. This highly toxic material can cause mesothelioma, a deadly disease that can be fatal even in small amounts. It is recommended that individuals who were exposed – occupants, first responders or cleanup crews – get regular check-ups with a doctor every two to three years, especially if they present any mesothelioma symptoms. Early diagnosis is crucial, as mesothelioma has a very poor prognosis and can often be fatal.
Symptoms of mesothelioma include shortness of breath, chest pain, coughing, and fatigue. If you have been exposed to asbestos, it is important to inform your doctor and get regular check-ups to monitor any potential health issues. Mesothelioma can take years to develop, so it is important to be vigilant and proactive in your health care.
Asbestos.com has published an Asbestos and Natural Disasters Guide that outlines how to prevent asbestos exposure when preparing for and cleaning up after a natural disaster. Find the guide here to learn more.
Franklin Chen is an outreach co-ordinator for Asbestos.com.
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