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 Sheetspdf iconexternal icon
State of New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services

EPA Regional Offices and Hotline Numbersexternal icon
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 icon

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 icon

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 icon, 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/air/default.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 icon

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 icon

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

Mold

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

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 icon

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) State Offices

https://www.osha.gov/html/RAmap.htmlexternal icon

OSHA Complaint Form

https://www.osha.gov/as/opa/worker/complain.htmlexternal icon

How can I find an occupational physician?

An occupational physician can help you recognize, evaluate, and treat illnesses resulting from workplace exposures.

You can find an occupational physician using the Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics (AOEC) Clinic Directoryexternal icon. Additional online resources include:

If you have any more questions or concerns, you can also contact your state health department.

CDC Resources

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)

External Resources

AOEC Clinic Directory (Not all states are included in directory)

Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics
1-888-347-AOEC (1-888-347-2632)
http://www.aoec.org/directory.htmexternal icon

American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
1-847-818-1800
http://www.acoem.org/external icon

DoctorFinder
American Medical Association
https://apps.ama-assn.org/doctorfinder/home.jspexternal icon

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 icon. 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 icon

What are common causes of poisoning in adults?

Drugs are the most common cause of poisoning in adults. This includes both legal and illegal drugs.

In drug-related suicides, the most commonly used are psychoactive drugs. This includes medications used to help people sleep and to treat depression.

Prescription opioids are commonly involved in unintentional and undetermined poisoning deaths. From 1999-2016, more than 350,000 people died from an overdose involving an opioid, including prescription and illegal opioids (like heroin).

If you have a poison emergency, call poison control. The nationwide toll-free number for poison control centers is 1-800-222-1222.

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

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

CDC Resources

Tips to Prevent Poisoning

Injury Prevention and Control: Data and Statistics: Welcome to WISQARS

Poisoning

Information for Patients on Prescription Opioids

Injury and Violence Prevention Podcasts

External Resources

American Association of Poison Control Centers
1-800-222-1222
http://www.aapcc.org/external icon

How can suicide be prevented?

Suicide was the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. in 2017, and it continues to be a serious public health problem that can have lasting devastating effects on individuals, families, and communities. While its causes are complex and determined by multiple factors, the goal of suicide prevention is to reduce factors that increase risk (i.e. risk factors) and increase factors that protect people from suicidal thoughts and behaviors (i.e. protective factors).

Suicide and other forms of violence can be can be addressed through risk and protective factors at all levels of society, from the individual, family, and community levels to the broader social environment.

For more information on suicide prevention, visit CDC’s Division of Violence Prevention website.

If you are experiencing crisis or emotional distress, call 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) or visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifelineexternal icon website to chat with a counselorexternal icon.

CDC Publications

CDC’s Preventing Suicide: A Technical Package of Policies, Programs, and Practicespdf icon

CDC’s Preventing Multiple Forms of Violence: A Strategic Vision for Connecting the Dotspdf icon

Preventing Suicide Fact Sheet, 2018pdf icon

Vital Signs Fact Sheet: Suicide, 2018pdf icon

CDC Resources

Suicide Prevention

Preventing Suicide: A Comprehensive Public Health Approach

Suicide in Rural America

External Resources

Programs and Practices: Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC)external icon

The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent Suicideexternal icon
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

National Strategy for Suicide Preventionexternal icon
HHS

Preventing Suicide: A Global Imperativeexternal icon
World Health Organization

National Suicide Prevention Lifelineexternal icon
HHS, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)

Be the One to Save a Lifeexternal icon
HHS, SAMHSA

Page last reviewed: February 7, 2019