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asbestos exposures
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asbestos exposures

Hi,

I'm getting increasingly concerned over the few asbestos exposures me and my young family have been exposed to recently.  Two years ago we had our roof redone.  There was a layer of felt paper on the under side that contained chrostile asbestos (45%).  There were no precautions used to prevent dust and particles from falling on our front and back yards.  One year ago our neighbours also had their roof replaced and the same white paper was removed again with no precautions used.  I have also removed about 100 square feet of VAT in our house.  I wet it down and there was very little (if any) breakage but I didn't enclose the area and when i removed the plywood after taking the tiles off of it my mask malfunctioned and i took it off.  I removed the plywood by prying it up from underneath.  I did not try to remove the mastic.  Just recently i had the air tested on our second floor where the tiles were removed and the fibre levels were safe. But I'm still worried that I have contaminated my house inside and that the soil and plants and walkways around my house are contaminated and that whenever my kids play on the lawn they could be stirring up asbestos dust.  Am I going crazy.  I'm having trouble concentrating on little else but this and I'm not enjoying it.

Please help, thanks
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Avatar_dr_m_tn
Hello,

Please respond with specific or questions that you may have.

~ Dr. Parks

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical 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.
5 Comments
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi Dr. Parks

Thanks for your response.

I guess my questions are.

How much exposure did me and my family receive?  Can you compare the exposure to something else for me?  For example,  was the risk i subjected my family to like smoking in the house for 4 months?  If asbestos fibres were released from the removal of the felt from my roof and the neighbour's roof, for how long would they have been in the air around our house?   Is there any testing that I could talk to my doctor about that we could receive that could quantify the level of exposure we received?   Even though i tested the ambient air on our second floor and the results were negative for asbestos is it possible or likely that fibres are lurking elsewhere like the furnace vents or the basement from when workers used the bathroom down there?

thanks again

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Avatar_m_tn

Hi Doctor Parks,

I notice that you haven't answered my questions.  Are they still too vague?  Or perhaps you are just on vacation (hopefully for you) or haven't had time.  I look forward to reading your insights.  thanks
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Avatar_dr_m_tn
Hello again,

Your questions are re-listed and my answers in ALL CAPS.

How much exposure did me and my family receive?
I AM UNABLE TO ANSWER THIS QUESTION WITH ANY CERTAINTY. HOWEVER, THE EXPOSURE FOR YOUR FAMILY BASED ON THE DETAILS THAT YOU HAVE SHARED WAS LIKELY VERY LOW IF NOT NEGLIGIBLE OR ZERO.

Can you compare the exposure to something else for me?  For example,  was the risk i subjected my family to like smoking in the house for 4 months?  
MORE LIKE VERY OCCASIONAL INHALATION OF PASSIVE SMOKE (SECOND HAND SMOKE)

If asbestos fibres were released from the removal of the felt from my roof and the neighbour's roof, for how long would they have been in the air around our house?  
AGAIN, IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO ANSWER THIS QUESTION. IF THE FIBERS WERE PRESENT IN THE AIR OUTSIDE OF YOUR HOUSE, THERE ARE MANY VARIABLES THAT MIGHT HAVE AFFECTED WHETHER ANY OF THE FIBERS ENTERED YOUR HOME (WIND, AIR IN-TAKE FOR YOUR HEATING OR A/C, FOOT TRAFFIC IN AND OUT OF YOUR HOUSE AT THE TIME, ETC).

Is there any testing that I could talk to my doctor about that we could receive that could quantify the level of exposure we received?
NO, THERE IS NO BLOOD TEST FOR QUANTIFYING THE AMOUNT OF EXPOSURE TO ASBESTOS FIBERS.

Even though i tested the ambient air on our second floor and the results were negative for asbestos is it possible or likely that fibres are lurking elsewhere like the furnace vents or the basement from when workers used the bathroom
VERY UNLIKELY.

Please follow-up with additional questions that you may have.

~ Dr. Parks

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical 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.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks so much for answering my questions.  I really appreciate your time.

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Philip D Parks, MD, MPH, MOccH, F...Blank
Cambridge Health Alliance, Harvard Medical School
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