Ask CDC - Injury, Violence, & Safety

What should I do if I think I have been exposed to asbestos?

If you think you may have been exposed to asbestos, you should tell your doctor, even if you don’t feel sick. Most people don’t show signs or symptoms of asbestos-related disease for 10 to 20 years or more after exposure. You should also:

  • Quit smoking if you are a smoker, and
  • Get regular influenza (flu) and pneumonia vaccines.

If you think you may have been exposed to asbestos in your home, contact

The EPA will give you information about:

  • Testing your home for asbestos, and
  • Finding a trained professional to remove or contain the fibers.

CDC Resources

ToxFAQs for Asbestos

Public Health Statement for Asbestos

NIOSH Safety and Health Topic: Asbestos

NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards: Asbestos

External Resources

Right to Know Hazardous Substance Fact SheetsCdc-pdfExternal
State of New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services

EPA Regional Offices and Hotline NumbersExternal
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

What can I do when my landlord, property owner, or builder is not responsive to my mold problems?

If you feel your landlord, property owner, or builder has not been responsive to your concerns about mold, you should contact your local board of health or your local housing authority. Issues about mold generally fall under state and local, not federal, jurisdiction. These issues can include applicable codes, insurance, inspection, and legal issues.

You could also review your lease or building contract. You can learn more about local codes and laws and your legal rights by talking with local or state government agents, your insurance company, or a lawyer.

CDC does not have enforcement power in such matters. CDC also cannot provide you with personalized advice. You can contact your county or state health department about mold issues in your area and to learn about what mold assessment and remediation removal services it may offer. You can also contact your state’s indoor air quality program.

CDC Resources

Basic Facts: Molds in the Environment

External Resources

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency MoldExternal

Who is responsible for cleaning up the mold problem in my home?

If you have a mold problem in your home, talk to your:

  • Property owner,
  • Landlord, or
  • Builder.

If you don’t get a response, contact your:

  • Local board of health, or
  • Housing authority.

Applicable codes, insurance, inspection, legal, and similar issues about mold generally fall under state and local (not federal) jurisdiction.

CDC is not a regulatory or enforcement agency for environmental health issues. CDC cannot provide legal advice or a legal opinion. CDC relies on its environmental public health partners at the local and state levels to address and solve these types of problems.

For more information, find your state or local health department.

CDC Resources

Mold

Indoor Air Quality Information: Indoor Air Quality State Map

External Resources

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency MoldExternal

What should I do if I am worried about mold in my workplace?

If you are worried that there may be mold in your workplaceExternal, contact the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Employers, employees, or union officials can request a NIOSH health hazard evaluation. If a field evaluation site visit is conducted, NIOSH will evaluate the current workplace conditions and employees’ health concerns and make recommendations on how to reduce or eliminate any identified hazards.

If NIOSH does not conduct a site visit, NIOSH will contact management and employees, by phone and email, to collect information. NIOSH will send a letter to the employer or building manager with information about the indoor environmental quality concerns and provide recommendations.

For more information about NIOSH health hazard evaluations, visit the NIOSH website or call 1-800-232-4636.

CDC Resources
Health Hazard Evaluations

https/www.cdc.gov/niosh/hhe/default.html

NIOSH Alert: Preventing Occupational Respiratory Disease from Exposures Caused by Dampness in Office Buildings, Schools, and Other Nonindustrial Buildings

https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2013-102/

Workplace Safety and Health Topics: Indoor Environmental Quality

https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/indoorenv/default.html

Indoor Air Quality Information: Indoor Air Quality State Map

https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/airpollution/indoor_air.htm

Mold

https://www.cdc.gov/mold/

External Resources
Safety and Health Topics: Indoor Air Quality
U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration
http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/indoorairquality/index.htmlExternal

A Brief Guide to Mold in the Workplace
U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration
http://www.osha.gov/dts/shib/shib101003.htmlExternal

Indoor Air Quality
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
http://www.epa.gov/iaq/MoldExternal

Mold

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
http://www.epa.gov/mold/moldresources.htmlExternal

Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools Action Kit

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

https://www.epa.gov/iaq-schools/indoor-air-quality-tools-schools-action-kitExternal

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) State Offices

https://www.osha.gov/html/RAmap.htmlExternal

OSHA Complaint Form

https://www.osha.gov/as/opa/worker/complain.htmlExternal

What should I do if a poisoning occurs?

If you have a poison emergency, and the victim has collapsed or is having trouble breathing, call 911.

If you have a poison exposure or a suspected poisoning and the victim is alert, call Poison ControlExternal. The nationwide, toll-free number for poison control centers is 1-800-222-1222.

Try to have the following information ready:

  • The person’s age and estimated weight,
  • The container or bottle of the poisonous product, if available,
  • The time of the poison exposure, and
  • The address where the poisoning occurred.

Follow the instructions from the emergency operator or poison control center.

Poison control agents can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and they can:

  • Help you with a poison emergency,
  • Answer questions about a certain poison, and
  • Tell you about poison prevention.

CDC Resources

Tips to Prevent Poisonings

Poisoning

Medication Safety Program: Put Your Medicines Up and Away and Out of Sight

External Resources

American Association of Poison Control Centers

1-800-222-1222

http://www.aapcc.org/External

Page last reviewed: September 24, 2018