A series of wildfires that have recently torn through southern California have resulted in serious concerns arising over potential exposure to the deadly carcinogenic asbestos. Asbestos exposure can result in a range of serious health problems, and this includes a form of asbestos cancer known as mesothelioma.
The fires, which were raging for days, have destroyed a lot of land as well as tens of thousands of homes, leaving residents stranded. However, officials are now concerned that some of the older homes and buildings that were built before the middle of the 1980s could contain asbestos, which was widely used in construction up until that time.
It is thought that the raging fires could results in asbestos dust and debris being released into the air, which could mean far wider ranging repercussions that just the loss of homes and land. There are concerns that the health of local residents could now be put at risk.
The American Lung Association of California has been offering tips for those that may find that they are in the affected areas. This includes limiting outdoors activity, keeping windows and vents in cars closed when driving around, and breathing through a damp cloth if it is necessary to be outside.