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By Andrew Robbins

 CSMS Magazine Staff WriterAt some point every individual must look inward and evaluate their health. I have exposure to asbestos and I constantly monitor my body looking for the slightest sign of change.    My favorite sayings are, “You can lie to your doctor, but not to yourself.” Only you have the power to share your symptoms with your medical practitioner. If you choose to cheat and stay silent, then your medical treatment may not align with your illness.    And, “Those exposed to minerals often ignore the obvious. They ignore the potential sources of illness, and in doing so, they place their entire household at risk.” Inhaling dust found at home, places of employment and entertainment, while shopping, etc., can result in respiratory illness, and even worse, cancer. Acknowledging that our daily activities place us in direct contact with carcinogens is the first step on the journey to a long life without catastrophic illness.     Those of you who are frequent readers of this magazine know that I write about our exposures to earthen minerals and the illnesses they inflict on our communities. I just returned from a conference whose speakers included highly respected academic, medical, and scientific presenters.    The opening address was titled, “History of Asbestos Disease and Preventing Exposure – Prevention is the Best Cure.” In summary the speaker said, “Prevention is reduced to banning six minerals (amosite, crocidolite, tremolite, anthophyllite, actinolite, and chrysotile) collectively known as Asbestos.”     Any suggestion that banning asbestos would save millions of lives is ridiculous. A ban would perpetuate the misconception that in an instant the country was magically transformed and freed of risk. There has never been a true asbestos ban in the United States. Asbestos is so widespread that it is in the building materials of your home and many other consumer products naturally contain these carcinogens.     From the government’s perspective the economy and tax revenue are far more important than family health. As our population continues to expand, conditions that spread carcinogens multiply. Only when governments look at the cost of medical treatment, which often exceeds 1 million dollars per patient, will governments realize they have a financial stake in resolving catastrophic preventable disease!     The U.S. Geological Mineral Registry includes over 4,000 minerals. No scientific evidence exists to suggest that any of these minerals, not one, is safe to inhale.Many of our serious illnesses (asthma, cancer, and mesothelioma) are the result of inhaling minerals. Scientifically we acknowledge minerals are responsible for many types of cancer. Yet, for well over 100 years, researchers have been looking for “The Cure” for a preventable illness when it is as simple as, “Don’t inhale it, don’t get it!”     The majority of us take the easy way out. We throw money at the problem to make cancer go away. It is easier to write a check for cancer research than to acknowledge we have a responsibility for our health and that the illnesses we fear the most, breast cancer, uterine cancer, or prostate cancer are often preventable.     When individuals take responsibility for their health, they realize donations funding research for preventable illnesses could be better used to purchase air and water filtration equipment for their homes and offices. A word of advice: throw away that window air conditioner and install central air. Window units pull in outside contaminates.     Driving in our automobiles exposes us to air contaminants and sources of future illness. I predict that a bright automotive engineer will become rich by patenting a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Arrestor) air filtration system for vehicle occupants. Informed purchasers will pay extra to breathe clean air.     For thousands of years explorers searched for the Fountain of Youth. It is now within your reach. Self-education and prevention are the keys to a long life without illness.Also see Valuing Buildings Over Employee Health America’s LossThe EPA’s Unconscionable SilenceAmerica’s Illusion of Health and SafetyNote: Andrew Robbins is a staff writer for CSMS Magazine and the author of “It Took My Breath Away: One Man’s Experience May Save Your Life.” He may be reached by email at: awrobbins1@earthlink.net

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