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Worried sick about asbestos exposure
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Worried sick about asbestos exposure

Hi have a question for you about asbestos exposure. I renovated a house 2 years ago and removed a lot of adhesive of a basement wall by scraping and sanding it and i just realized that it could have contained asbestos. So i sent a sample of the adhesive to a lab for testing and it came back 1% Chrysotile. Im worried sick because not only did i
remove the adhesive but i also lived in the same room where i was removing the adhesive for 2 months. What is my risk of developing Mesothelioma or lung cancer? Also i smoked pot on and off for 8 years
im 26 and otherwise healthy.
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Avatar_dr_m_tn
Hello,

A couple questions for you before I make comments about your risk.

1. How large was the space (square footage)?
2. About how many days did you scrape and sand?
3. Did you wear a dust mask or respiratory protection of some type? If so, what did you wear and how often?
4. If you no longer smoke, when did you stop smoking?
5. Do you have any symptoms of cough or shortness of breath?
6. When you were sanding and scraping, was the air noticeably dusty?
7. What type of ventilation was/is present in the basement where you were working (and living)?

~•~ Dr. Parks

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical or legal advice. The information presented in this posting is for patients’ education only. As always, I encourage you to see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.
6 Comments
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Avatar_m_tn
1. It was was quite a large basement the room i was in was about a few hundred square feet (500-800). The total basement itself was over almost 2000 square feet

2. probably the total time i spent removing the adhesive was about 1 week maybe 2 weeks at most (i mostly scraped and once i used an electric sander to sand of some adhesive to finish the job)

3. i did not wear any mask whatsoever i did not know anything about asbestos

4. i stopped last year i still smoke a couple times a year (4 so far) and am trying to quit i was never a extremely heavy smoker it was on and off for 8 years

5. I do feel like i may have a slight shortness of breath symptoms. maybe but it could be from smoking always i was also pedicab operator for two summers so not sure what its from. My doctor said my breathing's fine im going to get a pulmonary test soon to see.

6. i forget how dusty it was when i sanded the air was dusty but i only sanded once. When i scraped i could see the dust coming out of the adhesive but i dont think there was a lot of dust in the room from it (i scraped the adhesive of the wall). At times there was definitly dust in the room because we were sanding tons of other stuff in the basement but im not sure what it was from adhesive. i can't say for sure though because it was 2 years ago  

7. its a very large room and finished basement and an open concept house. I forget how much we opened the windows here and there probably.

i slept on a leather couch for about 2 months during the renovations and when we started removing the adhesive

Thank you for your help
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Avatar_m_tn
Just to add to point 6 in regards to shortness of breathe while i think i may have it, i have ocd so i just may be putting it in my mind. Also i can run very long distances so my breathings fine i just feel like when i breath sometimes i feel a shortness of breathe but my doctor said my breathing's fine im going to get tested.
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Avatar_m_tn
just to add to point 6 when i sanded once, the dust from the adhesive was blowing around my face but i dont think the room itself was very dusty from the adhesive. im not sure its hard to remember.
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Avatar_m_tn
Sorry to add more information but i want to point out in reference to point 2 or the number of days i worked removing the adhesive, that i only worked a few hours or less each day removing the adhesive from 1 to a max of 2 weeks. Also in regards to point 7 (the ventiliation) its important to stress that the house was very open concept and very big (about 8000 sq feet) and there was no door between my room where i worked and lived and the rest of the house.

sorry to add all these other posts but i want to describe it properly and this asbestos thing is messing with my ocd im really worried and i thank you for your patience.
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Avatar_m_tn
Again regarding point 1 or the size of the room i worked and lived in i spoke with my friend whose house i renovated and he said the room i  in was at least 1000-1500 sq feet and not 500-800 sq feet so the room i was living and working in was 1000-1500 sq feet and there was no door.

I wish i could delete some comments and put it into one post becuase im trying to create an accurate picture of my conditions working in the house again sorry for all these posts
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Avatar_dr_m_tn
Philip D Parks, MD, MPH, MOccH, F...Blank
Cambridge Health Alliance, Harvard Medical School
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