Can malignant mesothelioma be prevented?

The best way to reduce your risk of mesothelioma is to prevent or limit your exposure to asbestos in homes, in public buildings, and at work.

People who may be exposed to high levels of asbestos at work include some miners, factory workers, insulation manufacturers, railroad and automotive workers, ship builders, gas mask manufacturers, and construction workers, particularly those involved with insulation. If there is a possibility of on-the-job exposure, such as during the renovation of old buildings, then you should use all protective equipment, work practices, and safety procedures designed for working around asbestos.

If you live in an older home, there may be asbestos-containing insulation or other materials. A knowledgeable expert can check your home to find out if there is any asbestos and whether it poses any risk of exposure. This may involve testing the air for asbestos levels. Even if asbestos were used in materials to build the home, it may not pose a danger if the materials are in good condition. It is often more dangerous to remove the materials containing asbestos than to leave them alone. If you decide to have the asbestos removed from your home, you should hire a qualified contractor to perform this
job to avoid contaminating your home further or causing any exposure to the workers.

You should not attempt to remove asbestos-containing material yourself.

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Asbestos can also be found in some commercial and public buildings (including some
schools), where the same basic principles apply. Intact, undisturbed asbestos-containing materials generally do not pose a health risk. They may pose increased risk if they are
damaged, are disturbed in some manner, or deteriorate over time and release asbestos
fibers into the air. By federal law, all schools are required to inspect asbestos-containing
materials regularly and to have a plan in place for managing them.

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