Kind of off topic but I am totally freaking out

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by vafmschick, Apr 6, 2007.

  1. vafmschick

    vafmschick New Member

    So, the 1950's house that I am renovating with my husband may be killing us. I think we have been exposed to asbestos!!!! The kitchen floor was made of some material that we could not determine, so my stepfather decided to burn it and said it wasn't asbestos since it burned.

    Well, stupid us went ahead and stripped the floor and the black "glue"-like adhesive. Now I am terrified that it was indeed asbestos!

    I know that asbestos is not something to mess with. Now FMS doesn't seem so bad since we will likely develop asbestosis or lung cancer from inhaling the asbestos fibers!!!

    I can't sleep, I can't eat, I can't think of anything else. I am devastated that we didn't get a professional in there to look at this before we too action.

    I think all of us are now going to develop a horrible illness all because of a kitchen floor! I feel so guilty. I wish FMS was all I had to worry about now.

    How do I move forward without this consuming my thoughts? I mean, if you knew you were a ticking time bomb waiting for cancer to develop, how would you move on with life?
  2. irishprincess

    irishprincess New Member

    contact your doctor right away at least i would there might be something that can be done you never know.
  3. jaltair

    jaltair New Member

    First of all, if you are this concerned, please make an appointment and speak with your doctor regarding the risks you and your family may have from the possible exposure.

    Restoring older homes can be hazardous, and recommendations are to not disturb materials that may contain asbestos - instead of taking them out or removing, it's better say to cover them up.

    Asbestos can be in many products used in older homes as well as in the natural environment. Here is a website that may help you understand what it is and how people can be exposed. Definitely read what it has to say as you may have more restoration of your home coming up.
  4. Waynesrhythm

    Waynesrhythm Member

    Hi vafmschick,

    I have a friend whose father worked in construction for many years, and apprently had extensive exposure to asbestos over that time period. He said he sometimes worried about whether it would create an illness for him, but thus far has not experienced any adverse effects. I believe he's in his mid-70s by now.

    I guess what I'm saying is that a single exposure, though not good, may not necessarily be the ticking timb bomb you're afraid it will be.

    Regards, Wayne
  5. Lichu3

    Lichu3 New Member

    If I remember correctly, many buildings and houses built in the past have abestos as part of the insulation or other parts. Generally, I think asbestos is not a great danger if it is covered or not distubed. Some hospitals I have worked at have asbestos around their pipes but they are covered.

    Cases I have heard of where people develop lung cancer (mesothelioma) from asbestos were usually long-term occupational exposures without protective breathing eqiuipment. Tobacco and asbestos exposure are additive risks for lung cancer. Mesothelioma usually doesn't show up for 20-30 years. I agree with the other posters about getting some help from your MDs and licensed asbestos removers. However, I don't think this is something you need to panic about.
  6. vafmschick

    vafmschick New Member

    I have done research and I am 99% sure that the floor contained asbestos. It was linoleum flooring from before 1978, when it was banned.

    I guess I am worried about the fact that I have a low immune system anyway due to FMS so I am not so sure how my body will deal with asbestos.

    To clarify, we do not live in the home. In fact, we have only been in it for one week last Fall to do the renovations. That was when we stripped the floor and were exposed to the asbestos. We haven't been back since. We are planning to go back in a few weeks though so I want to make sure it is safe now that we disturbed the asbestos-containing material.

    How do I stop obsessing over this? I cannot sleep, as evidenced by my still being up typing this!
  7. vafmschick

    vafmschick New Member

    I tried to sleep but kept waking up in a sweat from dreams of my husband coughing up blood and attached to a chemo machine. ugh.

    I know I can't change the foolish choice we made. I am mad at myself for not being more "questionning" at the time.

    As people with FMS who have at times been accused of being hypochondriacs, maybe you can understand what I am about to say.

    My family has always considered me a hypochondriac due to my FMS. They think I always see the glass as half empty. So, lately I have tried very hard not to jump to the worst conclusion and "go with the flow" more often.

    So, that is why I did not push harder and freak out when the possibility of asbestos flooring came up. When my stepfather burned a sample piece of it and said he did not think it was asbestos, I tried not to be a "worst case scenario" person and say, "but it is probably asbestos."

    I should have just been the alarmist like usual. The one time I am not could have been a fatal mistake for all involved. I don't understand how four intelligent people could not have decided to get an expert in there to check it out before tearing it apart!

    I am just so angry at myself!
  8. obrnlc

    obrnlc New Member

    you and others mentioned that 99% or so of homes built in the 50's had that asbestos linoleum--now, statistically, how many of those people (the whole baby boomer's parents, and baby boomers that grew up in them) have lived long and healthy lives?
    Including those that laid the floors for a living, babies who used to crawl on the floors, etc.
    yes, it needs to be taken care of, but long before anyone knew the potential danger of ALOT of "new hazards". people were exposed 24/7, and are still healthy today.
    so please relax, your chances of a problem from one exposure are probably the same as your chances from driving by one yet unknown toxic waste dump--slim to none, and no amount of panic is going to change it anyway.
    look at the newspaper obits. and see how many people lived to be 80-100's, and probably all of them had that flooring.
    my father had mesothelioma, after 30+ years of operating a crane over LARGE areas of pure asbestos and smoking 3 packs a day while he was doing it.
    i hope you can relax--a walk outside to smell the springtime air (even if it is 20 degrees like at my place) for an hour will probably eradicate any asbestos you were exposed to, so enjoy your life and this wonderful easter week end--L
  9. minkanyrose

    minkanyrose New Member

    I know how I get on worring and it is easier said than done.

    They do have asbestos removal companies that remove the stuff safely. I know you said you already removed and burnt it, but you can call them and ask if someone can come out and check the house for you to make sure there is no more.

    My father worked with asbestos and did die of metho.... can't remember how to spell it. any way my mom did all his laundry and the asbestos was on his clothes she never had anything wrong with her.

    It did take him 30+ YEARS to have it show up so live a full and happy life.

    Let your doctor know of your concerns also they have tests to check to see if you were affected and the can reasure you of concerns you may have.
  10. Andrew111

    Andrew111 Member

    The way floor tile is made, breaking it up won't release asbestos into the air.

    But you are right to be concerned about asbestos. And if you want, you can have the the air in the house checked. Free asbestos fibers are so light that any air movement in a room will keep them in the air.

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