Tuesday, January 14, 2014

In Bed with Asbestos?

 Once again the mesothelioma commercial comes on during one of my shows and I want to cringe. If you don't know the one I'm talking about its a lawsuit commercial. Encouraging people to go to them to get reimbursed for getting mesothelioma from being exposed to asbestos. No I don't have mesothelioma nor do I know anyone with it. What I have a sickening feeling about is the asbestos.

A quick  description of asbestos-  Asbestos is a fiber that is flame and sound resistant that was combined with other materials. If released into the air there are tiny fibers can't be seen with the naked eye. When breathed in these fibers can cause scar tissue in your lungs to the point of disability or death or possibly cancer.

When we moved in and the previous owners had moved most of their stuff out. We took another look around. We were looking over the upstairs bedrooms when we came across something questionable. We opened up the closets and found this gray crumbly stuff that looked like rocks all over the inside. Usually just under holes in the walls where I'm assuming they'd put in wiring. Fortuanatly my husband was aware of what some of the asbestos products looked  like and this looked just like the chrysotile form of asbestos.

After that we could see it in the carpeting through out each upstairs bedroom. We were freaking out as you can imagine. What if it is definitely asbestos? What would be the costs of having it removed? How would we ever afford it? Specially after just purchasing this house? I'm pregnant. We have an infant and three school aged kids. What would we do? Then what if someone found out that we might have it. Would we be kicked out of our house? The more we thought about it the more upset we got.

There was no sign of it downstairs however, so what were we to do? My husband looked into ways to find out for sure if it was asbestos. No matter what it could mean for us we had to know.

He found a business that was accredited by the Better Business Bureau that tests samples of material for asbestos. It was pricy. We decided to go with the five pack the place offered. If we were going to do this we were going to cover all our bases. We sent a sample of the insulation, old vinyl flooring, paint chips and whatever else that we could see that would be questionable. All packed in the shipping package the company sent to us.  In the way the company specified.We did not want to screw this up.

Then we took the advise of all the sites we looked at. We didn't try to clean it up, we didn't touch it or disturb it if we could help it.We closed the door to the upstairs and kept the kids away from the stairs as a precaution.

The thought of my children being exposed to something that harmful was frightening. The kids were set up to sleep in the one other bedroom downstairs. It was the best we could do. And we waited.

It felt like forever. Time just seemed to slow during that waiting period.We spent our time looked into how much it would be to get it professionally removed if it really happened to be asbestos. It would have been an insane amount for us to come up with. But wouldn't the costs be worth it? You can pay now or you could pay later with your health or possibly your life. Or worse the life of a loved one.

Anyone like us that lives pay check to pay check listen up. If you are living with the fear that you or your family are exposed to asbestos. Don't wait. Don't live in fear. Scrimp, save, sell something if you have to but find a way. Find out if it is asbestos as soon as possible. If it isn't you wont live with that weight on your shoulders. If it is, find a way to change your circumstances. At least you know what you are facing, look into the best ways to take care of the problem and research. Don't sit and stew on something like this. Have courage. Have faith. Take Action.

When we got the results that everything was free and clear I wanted to jump for joy. I can't even explain how thankful I was and still am. Peace of mind is a wonderful thing.

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