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May 1-5 is Air Quality Awareness Week. Is Your Air Safe?

May 1.2.jpegAre you interested in learning more about how air quality can impact your health? Then Air Quality Awareness Week is your chance.

Starting on May 1 and concluding May 5, the theme for this year's Air Quality Awareness Week is "Be Air Aware." The week is hosted by three groups: the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA).

According to an announcement from the EPA, Air Quality Awareness Week 2017 will focus on several key issues and topics, including:

  • Air quality trends
  • Air quality around the world
  • Asthma and air quality
  • Citizen science
  • Wildfires

The Often Overlooked Threat to Air Quality: Asbestos

While it may not be a focus of this year's Air Quality Awareness Week, asbestos is another serious threat to air quality than people cannot afford to forget. Just because asbestos-related hazards are typically more localized than other air quality threats, that doesn't make them any less dangerous. In fact, few air quality threats are as deadly as asbestos.

The truth is that asbestos can still be found all around us. For instance, since asbestos was commonly used in construction, it continues to be a very real danger for anyone working in that industry, particularly those involved in renovations and demolitions. Auto mechanics are also at risk given that asbestos was often used when manufacturing car parts.

Alarmingly, you can also still find asbestos many schools, meaning it is around our children. Even worse, school administrators aren't necessarily required to remove asbestos if they know it is in the building, as we pointed out in a recent blog.

Probably one of the most frightening aspects of asbestos exposure is that victims may not even exhibit symptoms of mesothelioma or other asbestos-related conditions until years later. This phenomenon is particularly evident with vets who, after being exposed to asbestos decades ago while serving their country, are now developing deadly medical conditions.

The sad reality is that we will continue to see asbestos victims coming forward for years to come -- meaning it is certainly one of the worse threats to air quality imaginable

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