Mesothelioma Causes and Risk Factors

Mesothelioma is such a rare cancer that it comprises only 3 percent of all cancers. When asbestos is inhaled, the fibers attaches to the tissues in the mesothelium. The mesothelium is the membrane that protects your internal organs. A normal, healthy body typically regenerates cells in order to renew itself, but with mesothelioma, the cells begin to mutate rather than renew. As with all other cancers, the mutation of cells begins the process of replacing healthy cell tissue with tissue filled with carcinogen. The link between the causal relationship between environment and diagnosis was confirmed by Dr. Irving Selikoff, over 40 years ago.

Working with and around asbestos is the largest risk factor in becoming ill with mesothelioma. Asbestos was not heavily used until the late 1800s and greatly increased during World War II in the early 1940s. Asbestos-containing products were used throughout soldiers' sleeping quarters, barracks and vessels to name a few. Millions of American military servicemen and civilian workers have been exposed to asbestos dust at some point between 1940s and 1970s.

Manufacturers Hide the Dangers of Asbestos Exposure

Manufacturers kept the dangers of asbestos from employees and the public. There is no safe level of asbestos intake. Any intake of asbestos puts you at risk for developing mesothelioma. There have been reported cases of mesothelioma that resulted from just 1 to 3 months of asbestos exposure. Although personal protective gear is worn by some who work with asbestos products, the risk still exists.

Asbestos exposure in work environments have been acknowledged as an occupational health hazard since the early 1900s, yet manufacturers continued to sell their products without any warning.