How Can Asbestos Affect Pets?

July 7, 2023 4:25 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

How Can Asbestos Affect Pets?

Asbestos refers to a group of naturally occurring minerals that were commonly used until the 1980s for their heat-resistant and insulating properties. However, it was eventually found that asbestos poses severe health risks to humans and animals alike. While asbestos exposure has been identified as a significant health hazard for humans, the impact of asbestos on pets is often overlooked. In this blog post, we will explore the dangers of asbestos exposure on pets and what you can do to protect them.

How are Pets Exposed to Asbestos?

Pets can come into contact with asbestos in a multitude of ways. Like humans, exposure can occur through inhalation or ingestion of asbestos particles. Common sources of asbestos exposure for pets include:

1. Asbestos-contaminated soil
2. Vermin infested areas where asbestos-containing materials were used
3. Old or damaged insulation containing asbestos materials
4. Outdated household items like crock pots, curling irons, and hair dryers, which could contain asbestos materials
5. Construction materials such as tiles, cement, and piping that contain asbestos

Given that most pets have an affinity for exploration, they may accidentally come into contact with asbestos-containing materials and expose themselves to the harmful substances.

Dangers of Asbestos Exposure for Pets

Asbestos fibers are small and needle-shaped that can get trapped in the respiratory system of animals and cause significant damage. Prolonged exposure to asbestos can lead to severe health issues, including respiratory problems, lung disease, gastrointestinal problems, and cancer. Pets that have been exposed to asbestos also have a higher risk of developing mesothelioma, a rare and aggressive form of cancer that affects the lining of the lungs and abdomen.

Symptoms of Asbestos Exposure in Pets

Asbestos exposure symptoms in pets may vary, depending on the duration and intensity of their exposure. These symptoms can include:

1. Coughing
2. Labored breathing or shortness of breath
3. Decrease in appetite or weight loss
4. Lethargy
5. Anemia
6. Vomiting
7. Bloody discharge from the nose or mouth

If your pet experiences any of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Prevention and Protection for Pets

1. Keep Pets Away from Construction Sites

Construction sites often make use of asbestos-containing materials. These sites are prime areas for pet asbestos exposure. Make sure to keep your pets away from these areas and never let them roam around on their own.

2. Check Your Home for Asbestos Contamination

To protect your pets from asbestos, it’s essential to know whether or not it exists in your home. Request an asbestos inspection and test to determine the presence of the substance if you plan to renovate your home.

3. Remove Asbestos Safely

If your home has asbestos-contaminated materials, make sure to have them removed by a professional asbestos abatement company. Under no circumstances should you attempt to remove asbestos from your home yourself.

4. Keep Personal Hygiene

Personal hygiene can prevent exposure to asbestos. Wash your hands and pet’s paws immediately after exposure to areas where asbestos could be present.

5. Regular Cleaning

Regular cleaning is beneficial in preventing asbestos exposure. Clean your home regularly, including deep cleaning of spaces that haven’t been accessed frequently.

6. Watch for Signs of Asbestos Exposure

Be vigilant for any of the symptoms associated with asbestos exposure. Monitor pets exposed to the substance regularly.


Pets are highly vulnerable to the hazardous effects of asbestos exposure, and their health can deteriorate rapidly if they have been exposed to the substance. It is best to take safety measures to protect them from asbestos exposure. If you suspect that your pets have been exposed to asbestos, contact your veterinarian as quickly as possible. To protect yourself, your family, and your pets, it’s ideal to seek a professional to handle asbestos removal. Only professionals will ensure that asbestos removal processes comply with all federal and state regulations for the handling of known carcinogens. With the right precautionary measures, it is possible to prevent pets from having any contact with this dangerous substance and to keep them safe and healthy.

Got questions about asbestos testing? Let us help! Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for you!

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