The main way to lower your risk of a mesothelioma diagnosis is to limit your exposure to asbestos. The first step in this process is to find out whether you work around asbestos, as most people who have mesothelioma were exposed to asbestos at work. Common occupations that work with or around asbestos include:
- Insulation workers
- Factory workers
- Ship workers
- Auto mechanics
You should make a point to ask your employer whether there is a risk of asbestos exposure at your job. Even if you don’t work with asbestos but are in regular contact with a person who does, you may still be exposed to the miniscule fibers that can cause mesothelioma. Make sure workers who are near asbestos shower and change their clothes after work to limit second-hand asbestos exposure.
If you work in a place where asbestos exposure is a risk, follow all safety guidelines established by your employer. Wear protective equipment and shower and change clothes before taking a prolonged break or going home from work. You can also consult your doctor for other ways to limit your exposure to asbestos.
Asbestos exposure is not just a risk at work: older homes and buildings may have been constructed with asbestos materials. In many cases, it is better to leave asbestos intact than to try to remove it. Breaking up asbestos may cause fibers to become airborne and thus easily inhaled. If you suspect that there is asbestos in your home, contact a trained asbestos professional to inspect the area in question. Also, do not try to remove asbestos from your home: contact a certified asbestos remediation professional to take care of the issue. For more information on asbestos abatement, contact the Environmental Protection Agency.