“The Silent Chronic Killer”
Very fine asbestos fibers are similar to radiation and explosions. A person cannot see, hear, smell or taste radiation, nor can they see an explosion before it happens. However, they can see the devastation that results from an explosion. They can be in the midst of nuclear radiation and not even realize it and can easily inhale and ingest invisible asbestos fibers and other hazardous substances, i.e., dust, fumes, mists from silicosis, lead, galvanize, etc.
Many people including the owner and President of Professional Safety Training Services, Inc. have lived and worked around asbestos and lead for a long period of time and could have been exposed to the illnesses and fatalities of which these hazardous materials can cause. Calvin Williams, Sr., owner of Professional Safety Training Services, Inc. said during an appearance on a television talk show that he worked in an iron foundry at the age of seventeen and inhaled a large amount of gaseous fumes from molten steel and silicosis dust from sandblasting activities.
At the age of eighteen he entered the U.S. Marine Corps and served as a Machine Gunner where he had to wear large asbestos gloves used to handle the extremely hot guns. After he was discharged from the USMC, he said that he returned to the Iron Foundry and later served many years as a Ship Fitter and Welder at various shipyards, industrial plants and construction sites where he was exposed to inhalation and respiratory hazards.
Williams also provided workers with safety training prior to their participation in the rescue and safe removal of debris from the World Trade Center and he personally assisted OSHA Representatives with onsite safety training, emergency response, rescue and safety coordination of activities at the damaged site.
In 1995 and 1996, Williams conducted 24-Hour Emergency Response Courses, Asbestos Awareness Courses and performed a Safety Inspection of the famous U.S. Post Office and Mail Processing & Distribution Center in Hamilton Township, New Jersey. It was later closed due to the discovery of hazardous Anthrax material. He also performed the same services at various U.S. Post Offices throughout the State of New Jersey. Many of the workers that cleaned up the hazardous Anthrax material at the Mail Processing & Distribution Center in Hamilton Township a few years later, were trained by Professional Safety Training Services, Inc. Williams received numerous letters of Appreciation from the U.S. Postal Services for his outstanding Safety-Related Services.
Williams, now in his seventies, said that many of his previous co-workers around his age as well as fellow machine gunners that served in the USMC are either dead, suffering from asbestosis, or in a situation where they have to carry a portable oxygen bottle with them in order to receive the amount of oxygen they need to breathe in order to survive. Williams, a nonsmoker, considers himself fortunate at this stage of his life to still be alive. However, he realizes that asbestosis is a chronic disease that can eventually result in death.
Many Volunteers and Professionals rushed to help with the recovery of survivors at the scene of the destroyed World Trade Center. Despite the advice of OSHA and EPA Safety Representatives to Wear Respirators, many did Not Listen. As a result, many of those brave Volunteers, Emergency Response Personnel and occupants that escaped from the buildings could eventually become seriously ill from the airborne accumulation of Asbestos fibers.
Asbestos is a common form of magnesium silicate. Before its severe effects on health were discovered, it was used in various construction products. Asbestos became popular because of its stability and resistance to fire. The problem is that fine asbestos fibers and dust are easily inhaled and can cause a number of respiratory complaints, including a potentially serious lung fibrosis called asbestosis. Pictured to the right, are several rooms inside an office building where a considerable amount of asbestos and other hazardous material dust has accumulated. Workers and cleanup crews must wear adequate personal protective equipment to prevent contamination from asbestos.
Asbestos is carcinogenic. In the United States alone, it is estimated that ten thousand people die each year of asbestos-related diseases, such as asbestosis, lung cancer, and gastrointestinal cancer. Asbestos has a synergistic effect with tobacco smoking in the causation of lung cancer. Even off the job, especially while handling asbestos and lead products, a person should always wear a dust mask or half-face respirator, safety glasses and gloves to prevent self-contamination.
Exposure to asbestos has also been determined to cause a very serious form of cancer, referred to as mesothelioma which occurs in the chest and abdominal cavities. This disease is not called lung cancer, because the malignant cells are derived from the mesothelium (a tissue found on the inner walls of the chest and abdominal cavities and on the outer surface of the lungs) rather than in the lung itself. Professional Safety Training Services, Inc. specializes in conducting Asbestos and Lead Safety Awareness Courses.