Asbestos in Your Household: Potential Hazards That You May Be Unaware Of

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Asbestos is known for being widely used in homes and buildings constructions before the 1980s, but what’s commonly overlooked is that just until 2022, it was found in the worldwide talc-based version of Johnson & Johnson baby powder, and children’s makeup brands as popular as Jojo Siwa’s had tested positive for it.

In this article, parents will be guided to recognize the potential asbestos hazards in the home, and most importantly, how to best assess those risks so that their living space can be safe for everyone, especially children since mesothelioma cancer and other asbestos-related diseases take around 20 to 60 years to develop so the safety measures applied right now can represent a vast difference in our kids’ adult lives.

Asbestos in the Home

Do-it-yourself home projects have been gaining popularity because TikTok videos and Pinterest boards have left more than one inspired. At the end of the day, with just a few bucks, a weekend, and a tutorial on loop, you can save plenty of money, right? That’s what you would think. But the truth is that if you have a home built before the 1980s you may be exposing yourself and your family to asbestos, therefore, to mesothelioma cancer, with simple things such as drilling into drywall to hang a painting and removing vinyl floor tiles, or more sophisticated activities, such as removing popcorn texture ceilings or cutting insulation on pipes. Even projects as fun as classic car at-home renovations can represent a risk since older brakes can contain asbestos.

Children’s Makeup

As of 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration found that children’s makeup as popular as Claire’s JoJo Siwa Makeup Set and the Pink Glitter Palette with Eyeshadow & Lip Gloss, among others, tested positive for asbestos. But even after recalling these products, they have not officially announced any plans for discontinuing sales of all talc-based makeup products.

Baby Powder

As of 2022, Johnson & Johnson was still selling internationally its worldwide famous talc-based baby powder, even though it was removed from American shelves in 2019 due to a U.S. Food and Drug Administration investigation. It was found that it had been contaminated since the 1950s and that company executives had been aware of it ever since. The findings were so severe that the company has paid billions of dollars to plaintiffs. This goes to show that the only way we, as parents, can make sure we’re bringing the healthiest products to our households is to do our own research.

Asbestos in Toys

It’s important to keep an eye out for products imported from countries where asbestos regulations are not in place. Products such as crayons, chalk, and crime lab kits for kids have tested positive.

What can be done to best assess these risks and keep a safe house environment?

  • If your house was built in the 1980s or before, hire a professional to conduct an asbestos test.
  • If your home was built in the 1980s or before, do not attempt any DIY renovation projects, such as inspection, testing, repairs, or removals. Instead, hire a professional.
  • Do not handle any suspected or confirmed material that contains asbestos.
  • If a property or home demolition is needed, contact your local or state government regulatory agency.
  • Avoid brands associated with asbestos and talc contamination and only use talc-free products. You can find examples of such brands here.
  • Look for powders made from alternative ingredients, such as cornstarch, which is a natural and safe alternative to talc.
  • Beware of organic and “clean” brands. Many of them still use talc-based products that can lead to asbestos exposure.
  • Make your proper research on products that are imported from countries where asbestos regulations are not available, especially if those are talc-based products such as crayons and chalk.
  • Finally, if you have concerns about your child’s health, speak with your pediatrician. They can help you assess the risks and provide guidance on safe alternatives.

If you or someone you know may have been exposed to asbestos, it’s imperative that you contact your doctor. Cancer staging is a crucial part of the treatment so each moment counts. For more information about this, please click here.

Article and Resources Contribution by The Mesothelioma Center

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