If you’re worried that you may have been exposed to asbestos, or that you may be working around materials that contain it, it’s natural to decide to look out for obvious signs of risk. Many people will examine tiles or insulation to see if they think it contains asbestos. They want to send it in to get tested, but their first step is just to examine it themselves.
Your concern in a situation like this is well placed. Asbestos is very dangerous and can even be deadly. It is good to be on alert.
But the thing to remember is that asbestos particles are tiny. They are generally so small that you cannot even see them without a microscope. You can’t taste them or smell them. If you breathe them in, you won’t feel it. You may feel other types of dust and debris that contain the asbestos, but nothing there is going to definitively show you that you are being exposed to asbestos – outside of the results of an official test.
So what can you do?
The best thing you can do is to always wear protective equipment when you think you may be exposed. There are certain types of breathing apparatuses and masks that can filter out asbestos particles, but they have to be of the highest quality or the particles will simply fit through. A dust mask, for example, won’t do anything.
If you are exposed and you develop an asbestos-related disease, then it is time to start looking into all of the legal options at your disposal for compensation.