Wednesday, October 8, 2014

That Phone Call

It all started with that phone call on a Sunday afternoon. I was talking to my dad, and he was complaining that he had some trouble breathing when he walked very far. I could tell he was concerned. He said he was going to go to the doctor about it. The next day my mom called and my father was at the emergency room. Something was wrong with his lungs. She didn’t know for sure what it was, but something was wrong. More tests were run, and mom reported that there was dust in dad’s lungs that was crystalizing. I didn’t know that was possible, what was going on? We soon found out that he had Interstitial Lung Disease.

Interstitial Lung Disease covers many lung diseases, but they all involve decreased lung function, and the ability for the body to get oxygen to the bloodstream. And there is always scarring in the lungs. How on earth did dad’s lungs get scarred? Well we aren’t absolutely sure. But since he was a non-smoker, it is probable that it was asbestos. When I heard this, I was like isn’t that stuff outlawed? Nobody uses it anymore. Or do they?

I was surprised when I went to the EPA site to find that is not true. While there are some bans on asbestos use, it is not banned in other products. And I was even more surprised how common some of the products asbestos is used in. The products asbestos is used in include roofing materials, piping, and brakes for cars. I was surprised that so many products that were used to build homes and office spaces could still contain asbestos.

When I did a little more research I was even more surprised to find out that over 10,000 individuals a year in the United States die from asbestos related illnesses. Was my dad now part of this statistic? It seems as though he is. Everything seems to indicate that while not as much asbestos dust is being released into the air as it was in the past. It still is being released when older homes are remodeled and surprisingly when we step on our car brakes.

Companies have reduced what they use in products, but asbestos is still used. But should it be? Well I’d be willing to bet the 10,000 individuals who died from asbestos related illnesses each year would say no. And since my dad was one of those individuals who had a lung disease that is related to asbestos exposure I say no it shouldn’t be used. Are you going to wait until someone you know is diagnosed with an asbestos related illness in order to decide that it should banned? 

For more information about asbestos and what products contain it Visit the Mesothelioma Asbestos Products page.
And for more facts and statistics about asbestos visit the Mesothelioma Fact and Stats page.


  1. Interesting post Heidi. I had no idea asbestos was used anymore at all! That is pretty scary!! Prayers to your dad. Hope he will be alright.

  2. How awful, so sorry to hear about your dad. Definitely should be banned, it's so scary since so many things can have asbestos still. Happy to be co-hosting with you at Wordless Wednesday :)

  3. So sorry to hear about your dad, my thought and prayers are with you, its a really hard time, my father in law just passed, we are heading to the memorial this weekend..he had dementia and its really hard to deal with all these issues. Lots of hugs to you! You are welcome to share this on my link party if you want to get the word out!

  4. Hope to see you this friday at my Fabulous Friday Party
    Hugs Maria