Where Does Mesothelioma Originate?
Many people have probably heard the term “mesothelioma” without registering its actual meaning. But, it is an extremely dangerous disease with 3,000 new diagnoses annually. This is a distinctly smaller number than two decades ago, but any amount is really too much. That’s because the primary culprit behind the incidence of mesothelioma is preventable. What exactly causes mesothelioma? We’ll let you know below.
Exposure to Asbestos
The main risk factor for mesothelioma involves prolonged exposure to asbestos. Most people who suffer from mesothelioma were exposed to asbestos at some point in their lives. The disease takes decades to start showing signs, so many people are often surprised by the diagnosis. Even so, the caustic asbestos fibers have been well documented as the primary trigger of mesothelioma.
Working closely with asbestos opens up the possibility of inhaling or ingesting the carcinogenic material. Asbestos can lodge itself into the lining of the lungs (known as the pleura) and produce irritation and inflammation over time. This generates the most common type of the disease, pleural mesothelioma. A mere three months of exposure to asbestos can produce mesothelioma as much as four decades later.
Where is Asbestos Found?
Most people who are diagnosed with mesothelioma worked with asbestos some time in their past. But, asbestos workers aren’t the only patients with the disease. Asbestos can embed itself in clothes and other material, meaning that close friends and family could also be exposed to the substance.
Large quantities of building materials contained or still contain asbestos. Between the 1940s and 1970s, building materials were packed full of asbestos because of its fire-resistant qualities. In recent years, the substance has been left out of most building materials, but that doesn’t mean it’s absent entirely. It can still commonly be found in:
- Plaster material and joints
- Floor tiles and their adhesives
- Soundproofing materials
- Roofing materials (shingles, tiles, siding, etc.)
- Wire casings
For the most part, static asbestos won’t cause a problem. That is to say, if you attend a school each day that has insulation with asbestos in it, you will not be at much risk of exposure unless the insulation is damaged or the school decided to remodel without checking for asbestos. But, it’s an entirely different thing if you worked with the substance at any point in your life.
It should also be noted that asbestos isn’t just found in building materials. It can also appear in automotive parts, cement, refinery chemicals, and numerous other applications. That means that a variety of people could have been exposed to asbestos at some point in their lives.
Regardless of when or how you were exposed to asbestos, it’s important to understand that legal action against negligent corporations is always feasible. Mesothelioma is not an easy disease to deal with. It has claimed the lives of thousands of people, and it will likely continue to do so unless asbestos is fully controlled.
If you or a family member or friend has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, then litigation is always an option for seeking justice against corporations that caused your suffering.