Momma Told Me: October Is National Healthy Lung Month: Are You Armed With Knowledge?

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

October Is National Healthy Lung Month: Are You Armed With Knowledge?

October is National Lung Health Month- What do you know about your lungs?
Momma Told Me: Knowledge Fuels Prevention

If you've ever been to the doctor with a bad cough or some sort of lung pressure/pneumonia issues you've likely been asked if anyone in your family worked construction or mining, or if you've been exposed to asbestos. The average person wouldn't think twice about this question, and perhaps even laugh at the absurdity of a modern housewife, mother, businesswoman, etc being exposed to asbestos. Many of us would also be inclined to ask more, fairly ignorant on the issue ourselves. Most of us know asbestos is bad, true, but do we really understand the why and how of it?

When I was a tween my family moved from our condo into a newly manufactured home. One of the things Momma had been looking forward to most, as a survivor or Stage 4 Hodgkins Lymphoma (cancer) was the relief of enjoying an air conditioned environment. During her fight with cancer Momma's immune system, and respiratory system had taken quite a hit, and having such a modern comfort greatly increased her comfort level.
Within a week of moving in, while dusting her new home, Momma began to notice a sparkly residue on some of the higher surfaces in our house. Alarmed, she sent my father up into the rafters immediately to inspect the ducts. As it turns out, an entire segment of our air ducts had not been connected and some of the insulating materials of our attic and walls were exposed to our air system! Crawling around in the attic and crawl spaces isn't something most new home buyers think to do when approving their new home.

As it turns out, as a modern American, this was not my only potential run-in with asbestos- 2 years back I decided to search my old appliances for recalls on a whim. I'd inherited some staples, such as toaster ovens and hair dryers from my parent's newlywed days. I was shocked to learn the name brand hairdryer I was still using, that day, had been recalled by the company for 'potential use of asbestos' in insulating elements.
Products made in the 1970s, or prior, can have active recalls for asbestos. Consult an online database today for more info.
Today, asbestos is still NOT banned in the United States, and can still be found in some buildings and consumer products in use today. These products and buildings were most often made in, or prior to, the 1970's, though global regulations may impact products being made today and moving in and out of the country, as well. Exposure to asbestos is currently the only known cause of the aggressive form of cancer known as mesothelioma, and has impacted the lives of those not in industries immediately handling products containing it.

If you suspect exposure to asbestos inform your physician so they can monitor your lungs and health accordingly. The best prevention to this form of lung cancer is knowledge- ensure you and your family are as safe as possible from asbestos and other lung contaminants by keeping up with product recalls, from the Consumer Product Safety Commission or Recalls.gov, and performing annual home inspections. October is National Healthy Lung Month, learn more about lung health and mesothelioma prevention and detection at www.mesothelioma.com. While the story above is my own, I would like to thank the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance for providing some of the facts used in this content and the info-graphic, I created, above.

Do you know someone impacted by mesothelioma? Have you ever discovered a product that potentially used asbestos?

What Daughter Says: October is National Healthy Lung Month, arm yourself with the facts and help fight lung cancer of every kind!




18 comments:

  1. I don't know anyone with lung disease but when we moved into our house in NJ we had to have the seller pay to have the asbestos removed from the basement. It was quite expensive for him. The house was built in 1904 but sometime in the '50ies they had added insulation and of course it was asbestos. Fortunately NJ has some of the strictest requirements for such things

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  2. Absolutely true. We moved into a home built in 1910, and were assured that it had been updated in the 60's, and then again in the 80's. We didn't even think to look for asbestos. It turns out our heating ducts in the basement are wrapped with the stuff. We were told by a professional that it's best not to disturb it....

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  3. Lung disease is pretty common since there are so many smokers out there. It even increases the risks of airway infections not only for the smokers but for passive smokers as well!

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  4. The picture of that hair dryer made me shudder. I know I used tons of hair dryers in the 70s and 80s that could have had issues. Lung causes are the only other cause I donate to other than my church and an Honduran orphanage. SO VITAL.

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  5. I don't know anyone with mesothelioma but these are great tips for many people. My daughter and I both have asthma and need to be aware of these.

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  6. I can't remember I checked for recalls. I should really do it.

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  7. great tips, my daughter has lung problems. She has been hospitalized. I keep air purifiers throughout the house too.

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  8. Ack! Never heard that there could be asbestos in hair dryers. Yikes... I spent some serious quality time with my multiple hair dryers in the 80s. There are som benefits to being a busy Mom now and having no time to spend with luxuries like that. Thanks for all the great info.

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  9. I struggle with asthma too so these are great tips. I am lucky that we don't have forced air in our house. Helps cut down the airborne stuff. Had no idea about some of these other tips. Thanks!

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  10. Great tips! My next door neighbor suffers from COPD and it's just awful for him. I really need to check the recall list, that's something I haven't done in a very long time.

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  11. I did not know much about lung diseases, especially about Mesothelioma. Thanks so much for the info!

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  12. This one of the areas of my house I completely neglect. And my house is older, so who knows what is in the ducts and walls

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  13. These are great tips. My daughter has bronchitis right now so I'm all for healthy lungs!

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  14. I don't know anyone battling lung disease. I had no idea that old appliances had asbestos in them! I love picking up things at good will and my moms hand me downs. I need to check the recall list

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  15. So glad that you shared this. My grandfather died from lung disease.If he had been more educated, I think that he could have lived a longer and healthier life.

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  16. I do know someone who was affected. Watching him suffer was heart breaking.

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  17. I would never thought to check on product recalls for old household appliances. Thanks for the tips!

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  18. Great tips! I grew up in a coal mining area and a lot of the older gentleman suffered from black lung. Lung disease of any kind is so horrible and painful!

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