When I got a mail from Cameron about helping tell the story of his wife Heather, who survived mesothelioma, I was touched and really moved to do so. After I read about the cause of this form of cancer, and how the causative agent might be close to home, I had my mouth open for a few minutes, in shock. I called my friend who is into building engineer, Emmanuel Aloaye, and he told me it is an old building material, but still being used by some builders. Hmmmmm, nawao!!!!! I have heard about asbestos, but I never really took time out to research on it. As I drove into my estate, I looked at the roofs of building, and I was sure I was seeing roofs made from asbestos. I got home and took an intense look at my floor. I guess I was beginning to get afraid. I shoved my fear away with a scripture; ”He that is in me is greater that he that is in asbestos…….Amen”.
After companies using this deadly substance were banned in some western countries, they moved to developing countries, especially Africa, a continent without knowledge of the consequences of asbestos, and without regulations nor strong policies for the protection of her citizens. Asbestos is of one of the most deadly naturally occurring minerals on earth– asbestos.
- Asbestos fibers are 700 times smaller than a piece of human hair. When disturbed mostly during product use demolition work, building or home maintenance, repair, and remodeling, these microscopic fibers can be inhaled and cling to the lining of your lungs.
- Asbestos is a known cause of asbestosis, asbestos lung cancer, and mesothelioma cancer.
- The World Health Organization has declared asbestos as one of the most dangerous occupational carcinogens in the world.
- Russia is the largest exporter of asbestos, followed by Canada as the second-largest exporter.
- The United States, Europe, Japan and South Korea have all limited asbestos use in their respective countries, but asbestos is still exported to many developing countries including Nigeria and poses a risk to millions of people.
- Every year around 3,000 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma, a deadly cancer caused by exposure to asbestos.On average, they are given 10 months to live, that’s 300 days, 7,200 hours. Asbestos fibers may be released into the air by the disturbance of asbestos-containing material In general, exposure may occur only when the asbestos-containing material is disturbed or damaged in some way to release particles and fibers into the air.
- Asbestos was mined beginning in the late 1800’s for many commercials uses in the shipbuilding, automotive and construction industries for a few examples.
Where asbestos may be found:
- Vinyl floor tiles and the backing on vinyl sheet flooring and adhesives
- Roofing and siding materials
- Textured paint and patching compounds used on wall and ceilings
- Walls and floors around wood-burning stoves protected with asbestos paper, millboard, or cement sheet, Hot water and steam pipes coated with asbestos material or covered with an asbestos blanket or tape
- Oil and coal furnaces and door gaskets with asbestos insulation
- Heat-resistant fabrics
- Automobile clutches and brakes.
There will be a follow up on this issue, till then spread the story you have just read, protec yourself, your loved ones and the nation.
Thanks to Heather and Cameron Von St. James!!!