There’s an odd characteristic about asbestos exposure, says Gregg Grubb, an industrial hygienist with the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA). It can take up to 40 years before a person develops cancer from the substance.
“You’re looking at health risks that don’t occur immediately,” he said. “It’s often five to 40 years after exposure.”
This often leads people to take an it-can’t-happen-to-me attitude, he said, instead of developing a respect for* the potential problems.
“A lot of substances are suspected as carcinogens,” Grubb said, “but you have one substance here that is known to cause health problems.”