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There is no safe level of asbestos exposure!! 

Any amount of asbestos exposure is considered dangerous, even for those who do not directly work with or come into contact with the toxin. While the majority of mesothelioma cases are caused by occupational asbestos; second-hand exposure to Asbestos is a severe health risk, especially among women and children. Second-hand exposure to Asbestos causes the same diseases as primary exposure, including mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis. 

What is secondhand exposure? 

Asbestos was used for decades in the United States.  At one time, it was found in thousands of products. Old uses of asbestos products still linger in many old homes and buildings; and continue to cause exposure. 

Secondary asbestos exposure can cause asbestos-related diseases, such as mesothelioma, asbestos lung cancer and asbestosis. Asbestos fibers may be brought home by workers if proper decontamination practices haven’t been followed, which leads to asbestos contamination in the car and home. These types of exposures account for about 20% of mesothelioma cases. 

Women and children most commonly face secondhand exposure, although the general public is also at risk. Typically, secondary exposure occurs when an individual comes into contact with a person who has experienced occupational exposure and may still have asbestos fibers stuck on their clothing, hair or work tools. This is why it is very important that the asbestos abatement contractor you choose take the specific security steps after an asbestos abatement work. 

Secondary asbestos exposure is also called: 

•    Household exposure 

•    Domestic exposure 

•    Take-home exposure 

•    Indirect exposure 

•    Para-occupational exposure 

•    Secondhand exposure 

It sometimes gets confused with environmental exposure and community contamination. 

Environmental exposure happens when people come in contact with naturally occurring asbestos deposits. Community contamination exposure occurs when an asbestos mine, processing plant or manufacturing facility contaminates a community with Asbestos. 

How Does Secondary Asbestos Exposure Happen? 

Asbestos fibers have a rough texture. The fibers can break into tiny pieces. The rough texture and tiny size make it easy for the fibers to stick to clothing, hair, and skin. 

There are two common sources of secondary asbestos exposure in the home. 


The clothing of workers who have handled asbestos products provide a significant risk for secondhand exposure. Because of the jagged structure of the fibers, the microscopic particles can easily attach to clothing. Anyone handling or washing these work clothes likely experienced indirect exposure. 

Can You Wash Asbestos Out of Clothes? 

You cannot easily wash Asbestos out of clothes. Trying to do so can expose you to Asbestos. Regular washing machines are not designed to clean asbestos-contaminated clothing. Trying to wash contaminated clothing will cause asbestos fibers to become airborne. It will also contaminate any other clothes that are put into the washer. 

You should properly dispose of any clothing that is exposed to Asbestos. Contaminated clothing must be put in a watertight bag or container.  


If a worker didn’t change out of asbestos-contaminated clothing before returning home, fibers could have become embedded in the couch, chairs, carpet, bed, and other pieces of furniture. 

The asbestos abatement company you choose for your abatement should properly secure your facility for contamination during and after an asbestos abatement. 

If you want to remove the asbestos from your facility, call us. We pride ourselves in providing abatement services you can depend on. Contact us to get started on your next project. Call us: 562-438-7999.