Asbestos Cancer Victims Rights Campaign warns asbestos dangers lurk in the sweet summertime

7 Aug 2014 by under News, Organizations

ACVRC Summers Silent Threat image 100x100 Asbestos Cancer Victims Rights Campaign warns asbestos dangers lurk in the sweet summertimeFor most people, summertime is a time to relax and enjoy some downtime with family and friends. Summer also offers an opportunity to tackle projects around the house, explore the great outdoors, search out a bargain or create a lovely landscape. However, the folks at the Asbestos Cancer Victims Rights Campaign () warn many of these activities may hide a hidden danger – asbestos.

For years, asbestos was used in a wide variety of products, particularly home goods, for insulation, strength and fire protection. The practice continued long after manufacturers recognized a link between asbestos and the development of asbestos-related diseases such as asbestosis, a severe scarring of the lungs, and mesothelioma, a deadly form of cancer that affects the lining of the lungs or abdomen.

Many people believe asbestos was banned in the U.S. in the 1970s, but it can actually still be found in some products. Also, asbestos is lurking in products that were produced before the substance was widely recognized as a health hazard.

When left undisturbed, asbestos is not particularly harmful. But when it is broken, it may release microscopic fibers that can be easily inhaled or ingested.

In an article titled Summer’s Silent Threat, the ACVRC lists five areas the public should be particularly vigilant about:

  • Do-it-Yourself (DIY) projects and Demolition – Asbestos can be found inside the home, especially older construction, in products such as insulation, vinyl flooring, and even textured paint on walls or in ceiling plaster. Cutting, sawing and drilling these substances puts home improvement projects on the “danger” list.
  • Exploring Abandoned Buildings – Empty structures like old factories and homes present a temptation to those with an adventurous nature, especially children. These structures may be full of disintegrating . The ACVRC advises adults to stay out of these places, and to talk to their children about the visible AND invisible dangers of exploring here.
  • Garage Sales & Antiquing – Bargain hunters love to check out the deals at the many yard sales that pop up during the mild summer months, or seeking out a treasure at an antique store or flea market while on holiday. However, consumers should be aware that many products were made with asbestos-containing products, and these may still be on the market in the form of recycled treasures. Things like ironing boards and oven mitts may fall on this list.
  • Gardening – Naturally occurring asbestos (NOA) may be found in soil and rock. Disturbing these materials may release asbestos fibers that are just as dangerous as those found in processed goods. The ACVRC suggests checking the U.S. Geological Survey for your area or talking to a geologist to find out what minerals are likely to be found in the area where you’d like to dig.
  • Camping & Bonfires – Be careful when you create a campfire or bonfire by burning household scraps or debris found around the site. Some of these may contain toxic materials including asbestos. Stick to natural materials such as wood and bark from trees, or paper.

More information about each of these dangers may be found on the ACVRC website.

Additionally, there is information about the FACT (Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency) Act, which is part of a national campaign to pass federal and state legislation under the claim that it will increase transparency to prevent fraudulent asbestos claims. However, asbestos victims rights groups like ACVRC say the legislation actually will invade the privacy rights of asbestos victims and their families, and actually make it harder for them to file a claim against asbestos manufacturers responsible for their illnesses and deaths, and will protect asbestos manufacturers. There is more information about this legislation on the ACVRC site, along with a link to sign a petition to voice your opposition to the FACT Act.

Source: Asbestos Cancer Victims Rights Campaign

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