Protesting Contact Lenses And Eyes From Asbestos Dust

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Those who work with asbestos and removing it from buildings know how dangerous this item is to their health. Unfortunately, asbestos dust may end up getting on contact lenses and, therefore, on the eye. While most people know about the dangers of asbestos and the lungs, few know how problematic it is on the eyes and how contact lenses can increase the risk of this problem.

Contact Lenses And Asbestos Dust Do Not Get Along

Contact lenses and dust are a problematic combination at the best of times. Dust can irritate the eye when it is on a contact lens. That's why contact lens solution is so important: it is designed to keep it wet and free of contaminants before being applied. Unfortunately it is very easy for dust to get on contact lenses when a person is working.

This is especially true of asbestos dust, which can irritate the eye and cause other dangerous reactions. Those working in an asbestos-rich environment and who are removing it may think that asbestos in the eye and on a contact lens is just a minor irritation but it can be a much more serious danger.

Asbestos Dust In The Eyes Can Be Dangerous

So beyond irritating the eye (and potentially causing infections) just how dangerous is asbestos on the eye? Well, there are two ways that asbestos fiber can enter the lungs: through the mouth and the eyes. While the danger of cancer from asbestos in the eye are minimal when compared to that inhaled through the mouth, there is still a serious risk.

Even if the risk of cancer isn't large, asbestos particles still run the risk of actually penetrating the eye and becoming a constant irritant. While contact lenses may help block out some asbestos fibers, there's a chance that these fibers get stuck to the surface of the contact lens and work their way under the lens. With the lens pressing down on the asbestos fiber, there's an increased chance of eye damage.

Protecting Contact Lenses Is Important

When working in an environment where asbestos dust might be present in the air, it is therefore important to wear some facial protection to avoid this danger. Contact lenses and work goggles are typically easy to wear with contact lenses. Some people may be able to handle a full respirator when they are working (which covers their face) in order to avoid asbestos dust exposure.

When taking off this gear, it is a good idea to close the eyes and have somebody else handle it. Walk out of the work area with a pair of tight goggles to keep asbestos dust off of contact lenses. In this way, a person can continue wearing contact lenses while working on removing asbestos  and can keep their job without wearing difficult or bulky glasses.

It's also a good idea to have a place to rinse contact lenses after working with asbestos and to rinse the eyes. Keeping asbestos out of the eyes and off of contact lenses can protect a person from both eye damage and even cancer risk.

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