Can you smell or taste asbestos?

On Behalf of | Jan 25, 2022 | Asbestos & Mesothelioma

Asbestos exposure can lead to a lot of health complications, one of the most serious of which is a type of cancer called mesothelioma. It is very aggressive and usually progresses quickly once it is found. Additionally, exposure to asbestos can lead to mesothelioma decades later, and it is common for medical teams not even to discover it until it is in an advanced stage.

What all this means is that it’s very important to identify asbestos exposure as soon as it happens. Any exposure is dangerous, but you can take steps to protect yourself. You also want to be aware if you’re at risk so that you could identify mesothelioma as quickly as possible and begin a treatment program.

With that in mind, you’re probably wondering how to tell if you are actively being exposed to asbestos. This may be completely unintentional, so how do you identify it? Can you smell it or taste it? Will you know that you’re breathing it in when you encounter it?

The dangerous particles are simply too small

Unfortunately, you will not be able to taste or smell asbestos if you’re inhaling it. The particles that you inhale are simply so small that they don’t register at that level. In many cases, you can’t even see them. You also can’t feel them. You could be fully exposed to asbestos without any idea that it’s happening.

Of course, you may be able to see asbestos particles in old tiles or insulation if you’re examining them. It’s not invisible. But breaking up the materials creates a very fine dust that can be filled with asbestos particles. You may taste or smell this dust, but the actual asbestos within it is too small.

What can you do next?

If you believe you may be exposed to asbestos, the best thing you can do is to remove yourself from the situation. There are also certain types of masks and other protective equipment that you can use, and these are commonly used by asbestos remediation teams.

However, there is no guarantee that exposure will not lead to health complications. If it does, then it is very important for you and your family members to understand all of your legal options.