First, my heart and prayers go out to all of you who are affected by this disease. I wish it didn't exist.
I have a situation that I have been researching FOREVER trying to find out how to handle correctly! My husband and I live in a townhouse that had popcorn ceilings in it. We started painting the ceilings, and a few chunks fell off. After that, my dad (a realtor) told us to have it all scraped off, and we hired someone who does some work for him. Since then, I have found out about asbestos and its dangers--and that we had 3% asbestos in the ceiling! I do not know what to do, and I have been SO SO worried! My mind is obsessed, and I'm afraid. We never slept at the house again after it was scraped, and have been there minimally. We went there to clean up the dust that was everywhere with masks that we bought from Home Depot. They had filters on them, and were recommended to us by the employees. The problem is that ALL our things were--and are--in the house. The guy who scraped the ceiling covered the floors and furniture, but it wasn't secure, and I hvae a feeling he didn't wet the stuff first. What do we do??? I am willinbg to hire someone to tear out our carpets, to throw away our bed and couches, and to throw away our clothes (yes, it's expensive, and we'll be in debt--but it's worth our lives/health). I am TOALLY willing to do this if it's the best thing to do--but I don't know!! It is SO hard to find info on this situation, and I can't find anything online or anyone to talk to about this kind of situation. I'm afraid and want to do what I can now to stop the exposure and neuralize our home. Also, we had brought some of the clothes to my parents' home to wash here (my poor mom washed them!) and I feel horrible that that clothes is here now that I know about asbestos. Is their washer and dryer ruined? What do we do with all our clothes and furniture? Can they be made safe? Or should we throw it all away? I'm afraid. I'm willing to go in debt to get rid of all these things and to start over. Please help. I don't know what to do.
First things first, take a deep breath. There is no reason to panic and there are ways to set your mind at ease.
Let's start with the fact that while millions of people are exposed to asbestos only about 2,000-3,000 a year are diagnosed with mesothelioma. Most people who develop the disease had years of daily exposure but that doesn't mean it can't happen to people with limited exposure. We don't know why some people develop it and others do not. Smoking ups your risk by 70% so the best thing you can do is quit smoking to improve your odds of staying disease free.
I was exposed in my high school and doing "shade tree" auto repair. My husband was exposed doing heating and cooling repairs at his father's home over 20 years ago. I developed meso but my husband, thank the Lord, has not. The asbestos that was released in my father-in-law's home was never cleaned up and no one else in his family ever became ill.
The best thing to do is contact a professional asbestos removal company and ask them what you can do to remedy this situation.
As far as your momís exposure there is really nothing to worry about there. Her washer and dryer are just fine. The asbestos fibers would have been washed out of the machine and the lint trap in the dryer would catch anything that the washer didnít rinse away.
I canít say whether or not you will need to get rid of all of your belongings. Having everything thoroughly cleaned by professionals who handle this sort of thing might be all thatís needed and will likely cost much less then replacing everything.
Please keep in mind that the exposure youíve had so far is very small and it is very unlikely that you will develop any problems but if you do it wonít be for 20-40 years down the line. Donít make yourself crazy about it now. Your situation can be rectified and chances are VERY good that you will not develop any health problems now or in the future.
I hope this helps and if you have any other questions I would be more then happy to answer them if I can.
Thank you so much for your response. It was helpful and it feels good to have someone actually answer some of these questions. I just didn't know what to do. Honestly, it almost brings tears to my eyes seeing your response. You must be an incredible person--to be going through this yourself, and to be the one offering calm, kind support to others. I believe you have a big heart and incredible courage. I've read all I can about asbestos exposure on this site, and see how often you've been kind and helpful to others...all I can say is that I am praying for you tonight.
We had a second sample taken in to different lab, and the results came back the same: 3%. :/ I'm still not sure how to handle this.. BUT, I am going to contact a cleaning place (like you suggested). Hopefully this lab we went to will be able to refer us somewhere (we found them via EPA), as well as some tips. Any other tips or ideas are SO welcomed--anyone!! :/ I feel like getting rid of everything b/c I'm afraid...and I don't know if these professional cleaners clean houses full of millions of belongings. Also, are there dry cleaners that remove clothes of asbestos? I haven't been able to find a place.
Oh, and how bad is 3%? Does anyone know? I have no idea what the "scale" is like for these things. All I have been able to see anywhere is the 1% mark...Does asbestos sink into couches and carpets? This is probably too technical a question to ask here....
Did you get rid of your things eventually or did you get it cleaned up???? I'm in the same situation where we remodelled our bathroom and kitchen over a year ago and I found out later that the floor contained asbestos which the contractor did not take any precautions with while tearing it out. We were in the house with our kids when this was done. When we found out later I panicked (my husband didn't think there was anything the matter). We got the carpets HEPA vacuumed and wiped the appearant surfaces. Nothing else was done and I got fine for a year. Now I've started obsessing about it again and want to throw away everything in the house. My husband does not want to discuss this with me and would even consider separating from me if I keep on going like this about this situation. My problem is I don't want to have my kids living in the house knowing that anything could be contaminated!!!!! What do i do???? someone please help has anyone dealt with this? I'm totally going crazy