Currently, in the United States and in most developed countries, individuals are only permitted to work with asbestos materials under strict regulation. Protection is worn and several other types of precautions are taken so that the possibility of inhaling any bit of asbestos is eliminated.
There is still a risk of exposure, however, to people who are living and/or working in environments that may contain asbestos that was installed several decades ago. For example, a construction worker whose job is to help demolish old buildings may be inadvertently exposed asbestos particles in the air. It is a very real possibility that asbestos was used in the insulation systems in old buildings that can easily become airborne when touched, moved or knocked down.
Homes, office buildings, schools, and many other buildings that were built prior to the 1980s run a risk of containing asbestos materials. While asbestos may be safe when it is contained under floor tile or under a painted wall, there is still a risk for particles to be in the air.
Old buildings should be checked for asbestos and if it is determined that asbestos is present, it should be thoroughly and properly removed by a licensed asbestos removal company. Under NO circumstances should an individual with no training attempt to remove asbestos from any facility. Attempting to touch or remove asbestos improperly can lead to exposure and the risk of developing mesothelioma in the future.
Many asbestos-producing companies throughout the world neglected to keep any records of employee deaths due to mesothelioma. Typically, the governments of the countries where these companies existed have tried to use the fact that records do not exist to deny that there has been any sort of problem related to asbestos and mesothelioma. Hence, asbestos workers and their families have received no form of apology or support from the companies or the government in their home country.
Another way to help ensure that exposure to asbestos is eliminated for individuals who work in industries that may be exposed to asbestos (such as construction workers) is to always wear protective equipment. While it is known that exposure to asbestos for long periods of time increases the risk of developing mesothelioma, it is also known that exposure for a brief period also comes with risk. There is absolutely no safe level of exposure to asbestos.
Unfortunately, there may never be a way to completely eliminate 100 percent of the risk associated with asbestos, simply because asbestos is something that is found in nature. Natural asbestos will always be present in the world, and it continues to be manufactured, although, under tight regulations.