Asbestos Contamination

This post has been thanked 1 time. 7 December 2017 - 10:16

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I'm completely new to this forum. I have recently been diagnosed with Ocd around asbestos. I was wondering whether anyone has any good advice or techniques how to overcome it. I'm finding it incredibly hard to go outside incase I come into contact with asbestos particles. I'm convinced every time I go outside I get contaminated. For example, if I see fluff on the floor outside my house and I become obsessed that it's asbestos insulation and then have to pick it up(with wipes) and dispose of it as I'm terrified that someone will walk it into my home. This then scares that I have now contaminated myself, so it's just mental torture! This happens with various situation. Sometimes I want to speak to a specialist who can answer my concerns regarding asbestos. I would be grateful for any advice. 

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This post has been thanked 1 time. 7 December 2017 - 17:16

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Search forum for asbestos, there are topics.

This post has been thanked 1 time. 7 December 2017 - 22:46

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Hi,

I suffer from asbestos OCD.

Any house built prior to the year 2000 could have asbestos in it. However this is most often in a bonded form - the material needs to be damaged to release fibres.

Asbestos was never used in insulation in domestic properties, and it would never have a white, fluffy appearance. That is raw asbestos which would only be found in mines or asbestos factories, all of which closed decades ago.

This post has been thanked 1 time. 8 December 2017 - 18:37

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Is it just being contaminated you are afraid of or becoming ill as a result?

If it's the latter you have to really be in contact with large quantities of the stuff used in industry for that to happen.

I went on asbestos training for work and I was so scared I'd been contaminated by one of the (sealed) samples they handed around I contacted the company who provided the training. They said that not only was it impossible, the kind of asbestos used most commonly for household things would not make you ill.

Asbestos related illnesses are uncommon in construction workers and rare in members of the public. I know ocd doesn't even think that far ahead, it just flags the possible danger but you can definitely overrule your thoughts. Be kind to yourself and take baby steps. You'll get there.

10 December 2017 - 12:37

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Thank you for all your replies. My main worry is that I will come into contact with asbestos, breathe in the particles and then become ill with mesothelioma cancer later in my life. Just before I gave birth to my son 9months ago I became worried that something awful would happen to me when in labour and that I would die. After the birth, I thought I could get my life back however a worry start to grow and grow around asbestos until it's all that I can think about. I work in education and remember getting the union magazine that flagged up asbestos exposure in schools and that there is a significant increase of teachers contracting this illness later in life and this just seemed to fuel my anxieties and worries. Also it's so hard to find any unbiased information on asbestos on the internet, as it suggests that even small exposures can lead to cancer. Also the internet, suggests it's everywhere and that everyone is removing it unsafely, putting the public at risk of exposure. For example, marks and Spenser was fined and Topshop for dangerous removal of asbestos. Just today I freaked myself out in Next ,when purchasing wrapping paper. It had dust on the top of it that I touched and my brain was telling me it was asbestos! It could be the remains from some removal works and settled in the storeroom or something. I know this is so ridiculous but it's just what my mind tells me. I know I have to try and accept that it is my Ocd overestimating the danger but it is hard when your mind keeps telling you that you're in danger. Thanks again 

 

10 December 2017 - 17:36

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But youre not  in danger. You ever look up Post Partum OCD?

10 December 2017 - 20:00

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I'm shocked that you can pick it up. I had the same thing as you and I still have to some degree, I do feel for you. 

My only advice to you is to change the thought as soon as you see something you fear is asbestos, asbestos insulation is extremely rate and its very unlikely to be blowing around. When you see something take some time to calm down and deal with the anxiety.

This post has been thanked 1 time. 10 December 2017 - 22:08

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Each time you think 'might', you are keeping the fear going.

Teachers have a slightly elevated risk than the general public because many schools contained asbestos. However, pretty much the entire population went to school for years in a school with asbestos.

Avoiding areas with damaged asbestos would be sensible. Presuming that any dust you see might have be asbestos is not sensible.

Start CBT and have regular sessions to help you improve.

10 December 2017 - 23:48

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I used it in school and college too. It's pretty inert. 

This post has been thanked 1 time. 19 March 2018 - 17:31

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Hi All

I have had a phobia of Asbestos for 42 years. It started in 1976, I worked in a warehouse where we stored bags of white Asbestos.

Occasionally bags would fall off of pallets and get damaged and we would sweep up the Asbestos and didn't think much of it. 

Then one day there was news report on the TV where the owners of Acre Mill at Hebden Bridge in the North of England were criticised as 200 people had died of lung cancer over many years caused by Asbestos.

The next day the press went wild about it, all the news papers and TV news reports were full of scare stories about Asbestos.

At the time I had a bit of a bad chest and convinced myself that I had Asbestosis and was going to die, I was only 23.

I had a chest Xray which was clear and anyway it would take years to develop, I'm now 65 and it hasn't caught up with me yet, (touch wood)

From then on I read as much as I could about Asbestos, I think the fear of dying young triggered my OCD which started to include anything dangerous eg Aids, dangerous chemicals, germs and I started checking things etc.

A recent fear was of Ebola, I would not eat or touch any Bananas from the Ivory Coast. which was near the area in Africa when they had Ebola.

I have kept most of my OCD fears secret over the years and can like an almost normal life, I sometimes look back and laugh at myself.

As I'm getting old I don't seem to worry about myself so much, I now start to worry about my two young Grandson's as it's almost impossible to keep young children

away for everything I consider dangerous. 

It's good to read other people experiences and feel empathy.

Good luck to you all.

 

This post has been thanked 1 time. 5 December 2018 - 18:08

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I thought I would share my OCD contamination fears, specifically related to Asbestos. This might be long, but thought that it may help others and also myself to better examine and understand where things have come from.

How it started?

About 20 years ago was when I first really came to know about asbestos. It was from doing urban exploration that I was first made aware and it happened to be at the same time that friends of the family were suffering from Asbestos related conditions, namely mesothelioma.

The fear, and the OCD

Unless I can be explicitly re-assured or know, I pretty much assume all dust might contain asbestos. If I am in a new home, this causes a lot of anxiety. I know just about everything there is to know about some aspects of Asbestos Medical conditions and the science. I've spent far too much time reading, researching and obsessing over this family of minerals. Professionals are shocked by my knowledge, I'm not proud, but that gives you an idea about the levels of research. I've been known to compute the risk of every incident involving this mineral on my chance of dying, to try and get some perspective.My main fear is that of getting Mesothelioma. Because small levels of exposure can cause this condition, my main fear is that having some slight exposure will cause this and I will have my life taken at a young age. Because the people I know also had in some cases no known exposure. And when they did it was very limited in duration. This somehow stuck with me. Something being more dose related is easier to quantify in terms of risk, but now research points to Meso being possible a low levels of certain types of fibre.I think my mind is looking to be re-assured that I won't have this or a related condition. It always plays the wild "what if" scenario trying to "prove" that I am safe. So if a situation arises my compulsion is to prove that I am safe and going to be "alright". This obsession could be days or weeks at a time, where it can consume my entire life.

Living with OCD about asbestos

Like the other poster, I didn't know I had an issue until an incident happens, for example in this case coming across people working with it. Even seeing it, and I know enough to survey causes quite some anxiety. I remember on this thread people posting about Marks and Spencer which has quite a lot of Asbestos in this ceilings still in older stores. Again I used to be a bit obsessed with M&S by looking to ensure their ceiling tiles are not damaged or the goods that I pick up won't have dust on them.Imagine every-time there is some rogue dust, in a new home, I can panic and then I have to drop everything. Now I have a young child and my anxiety seems to have come back. I find my anxiety like the other gentleman here has extended to almost any chemical. New smells, anything out of ordinary causes anxiety.

Treatment

This is a work in progress. I'm trying brain lock and a few other sites, but knowing other people have the same fears is somewhat comforting, but dealing with the every day chemicals we come across, building sites, even new chemicals causes a great deal of anxiety.I do find anxiety and OCD is high when I am stressed, so having some outlet can help. But I think every few weeks I do find some blow up and stress time.One thing that can help is ALARP which means As Low as Reasonably Possible. Basically zero exposure is not possible, but any exposure should be as low as possible. So just the realisation that its not possible to avoid everything.I'm still struggling and I think I will for the rest of my life. After 20 years, I know now that it is OCD and much of my fear is unjustified. I live in a home with asbestos just to make things more fun.Would love to hear more from people with this. 

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