Asbestos and Mesothelioma Tips

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Asbestos Mesothelioma

In the environment, asbestos mesothelioma occurs naturally as bundles of fibers. Although they can be used in numerous industries, the fibers can cause inflammation, which ultimately affects breathing and leads to major health problems. The health problems from asbestos cancer primarily exist in the lungs as it causes coughing, shortness of breath and lung damage.
Throughout one’s lifespan, they will be exposed to asbestos at some point. People cannot become ill from low levels of asbestos because it is in the air and water. However, those who are exposed to it in great quantities will have serious problems. Drywall removers, firefighters and automobile mechanics are often exposed to asbestos in their jobs. Research has shown a high majority of deaths occur from this because of work duties that deal with working around asbestos.
Take for instance the rescue and cleanup teams of the World Trade attack. Asbestos was greatly used in the construction of the buildings. When the plane struck the towers, not only did the building come down but so did tons of asbestos in the atmosphere. Seventy percent of the rescue team developed symptoms of asbestos when this horrific even occurred.

Is infrequent, low-level expsure to asbestos risky?

Risks of asbestos exposure

Only certains types of asbestos exposure carries a risk of developing mesothelioma. Asbestos is so widely used that the entire population has been exposed to some degree. Air, drinking water, and a variety of consumer products all may contain small amounts of asbestos. In addition, asbestos fibers are released into the environment from natural deposits in the earth and as a result of wear and deterioration of asbestos products. Disease is unlikely to result from a single, high-level exposure, or from a short period of exposure to lower levels of asbestos.

How can I mitigate exposure to asbestos?

Risks of asbestos exposure

Since the asbestos ban of 1989, the EPA has established regulations that require school systems to inspect for damaged asbestos and to eliminate or reduce the exposure to occupants by removing the asbestos or encasing it. In June 2000, the Consumer Product Safety Commision concluded that the risk of children's exposure to asbestos fibers in crayons was extremely low. However, the U.S. manufacturers of these crayons agreed to reformulate their products within a year. In August 2000, the EPA recommended that consumers reduce possible asbestos exposure from vermiculite-containing garden products by limiting the amount of dust produced during use. The EPA suggested that consumers use vermiculite outdoors or in a well-ventilated area; keep vermiculite damp while using it and avoid bringing dust from vermiculite use into the home on clothing.

How does one get exposed to dangerous forms or levels of asbestos?

Risks of asbestos exposure

Asbestos comes in different forms. Different types of asbestos fibers may be associated with different health risks. For example, results of several studies suggest that amphibole forms of asbestos may be more harmful than chrysotile (the most common commercial form of asbestos), particularly for mesothelioma. Even so, no fiber type can be considered harmless, and people working with asbestos should always take proper safety precautions to limit exposure.

Why is asbestos such a big problem when it was banned many years ago?

Risks of asbestos exposure

Part of the reason why asbestos exposure was such a pervasive problem is because of the many uses for asbestos. Asbestos was mined and used commercially in North America beginning in the late 1800s. Its use increased greatly during World War II. Since then, it has been used in many industries. For example, the building and construction industry has used it for strengthening cement and plastics as well as for insulation, fireproofing, and sound absorption. The shipbuilding industry has used asbestos to insulate boilers, steampipes, and hot water pipes. The automotive industry uses asbestos in vehicle brakeshoes and clutch pads. More than 5,000 products contain or have contained asbestos.

Is there a link between mesothelioma and asbestos?

Mesothelioma and exposure to asbestos

Asbestos exposure is a well-known risk factor in the development of mesothelioma. But what is asbestos? It is a common form of magnesium silicate which was used in various construction products due to it's stability and resistance to fire. Asbestos is no longer used in manufacturing or construction since inhaling microscopic asbestos fibers over a period of years was found to be a dangerous carcinogen. The FDA banned asbestos in certain applications in 1989.

How has the use of asbestos changed in recent years?

Getting more information about mesothelioma

Since the EPA ban on asbestos, widespread public concern about the hazards of asbestos have resulted in a significant annual decline in U.S. use of asbestos. Domestic consumption of asbestos amounted to about 719,000 metric tons in 1973, but it had dropped to about 9,000 metric tons by 2002. Asbestos is currently used most frequently in gaskets and in roofing and friction products.

How does asbestos get into the body?

Asbestos exposure and risks of mesothelioma

Asbestos is made up of microscopic bundles of fibers that may become airborne when distrubuted. These fibers get into the air and may become inhaled into the lungs where they may cause significant health problems. Researchers have not agreed on what constitutes a "safe level" of exposure, but the dangers of prolonged exposure are well known, and increase over time.

What other health problems are cause by asbestos?

Risks of asbestos exposure

In addition to mesothelioma, another health problem caused by exposure to asbestos is asbestosis. This is a lung disease that was first found in naval shipyard workers. As asbestos fibers are inhaled, they can become trapped in thye lunk tissue. The body tries to dissolve the fibers by secreting an acid. This acid is unable to affect the fiber, due to its high chmical resistance. But the surrounding tissue can become scarred. Over time, this scarring can become so severe that the lungs cannot function. Generally, a case of asbestosis takes between 25 to 40 years to fully develop.

Is asbestos still used?

Mesothelioma and exposure to asbestos

The dangers of long-term asbestos expsoure that result in mesothelioma and asbestosis were only gradually realized. In the late 1970s, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) banned the use of asbestos in wallboard patching compounds and gas fireplaces because the asbestos fibers in these products could be released into the environment during use. Additionally, asbestos was voluntarily withdrawn by manufacturers of electric hair dryers. In 1989, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned all new uses of asbestos; uses established prior to 1989 are still allowed.

What kinds of exposure to asbestos constitutes risk for mesothelioma?

Risks of asbestos exposure

Nearly everyone is exposed to asbestos at some time during their life. However, most people do not develop mesothelioma or any other asbestos-related illness from their exposure. People who become ill from asbestos are usually those who are exposed to it on a regular basis, most often in a job where they work directly with the material or through substantial environmental contact.

Is asbestos always a hazard?

Asbestos exposure and risks of mesothelioma

Although asbestos exposure has been linked to the development of mesothelioma, asbestos is not always an immediate hazard. In fact, if asbestos can be maintained in good condition, it is recommended that it be left along and periodic surveillance performed to monitor its condition. It is only when materials containing asbestos are distured or damaged that it becomes a hazard. When asbestos containing material is damaged, the fibers separate and may become airborne. Asbestos materials that are too hard or strong to be reduced to dust by hand pressure is not regulated, so long as they are not subjected to machine grinding, sanding, or other processes that can release asbestos fibers.


The Leading Cause of Mesothelioma

The leading cause of mesothelioma and malignant mesothelioma cancer is generally accepted to be exposure to asbestos. However, there are cases in a which a person with no known exposure to asbestos have developed mesothelioma. There have also been incidents in which patients receiving radiation treatment for other cancers have later developed mesothelioma in the areas - or areas adjacent to - where they had been irradiated. Despite all of these things, asbestos is largely considered to be the leading cause of mesothelioma.
Also, the duration of a persons exposure to asbestos seems to factor little in either heightening or lowering their chance of developing malignant mesothelioma. There are cases in which a person - having only been exposed to asbestos for one to three months - has developed malignant mesothelioma with no clear cause other than their limited exposure to asbestos.
In closing, the easiest and most efficient way to ease your mind about mesothelioma is to maintain a clean and safe environment which does not cater to the lead mesothelioma cause - asbestos.


Exposure to Asbestos and Mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer in the lung, abdominal area or in the pericardium. The pericardium is the sac that surrounds the heart. Mesothelioma is most often caused by an exposure to asbestos. Mesothelioma exposure occurs when an individual inhales particles or has direct contact with asbestos. Typically the cancer begins twenty to fifty years after the exposure.

There are two main types of Mesothelioma and each type produces different symptoms. Pleural Mesothelioma occurs in the lungs and in the chest cavity creating symptoms of shortness of breath, a severe cough and chest pain. This type of mesothelioma is the most common form of the cancer and occurs 70% of the time. Peritoneal Mesothelioma occurs in the pericardium and creates symptoms of weight loss and abdominal pain.

Mesothelioma statistics show that people who worked in industrial factory settings or who were in the Navy and worked in the shipyards have a higher rate of mesothelioma exposure. This is because they worked with asbestos in large amounts. These individuals should be aware of the symptoms and consult with their doctor for routine care and monitoring of symptoms.


Asbestos Cancer Mesothelioma

In the environment, asbestos occurs naturally as bundles of fibers. These fibers were used in numerous industries, despite the fact that they cause inflammation, altered breathing and major health problems. Asbestos causes a form of lung cancer called Mesothelioma. It primarily exist in the lungs and causes coughing, shortness of breath and lung damage.
Only those who are exposed to asbestos in great quantities will develop serious health problems. Drywall removers, construction contractors, firefighters and automobile mechanics are often exposed to asbestos in their jobs. Research has shown a high majority of deaths occur from this because of work duties that deal with working around asbestos.
Take for instance the rescue and cleanup teams of the World Trade Center. Asbestos was used in large amounts for the construction of the buildings. When the planes struck the towers, not only did the buildings come down but so did tons of asbestos into the immediate atmosphere. Seventy percent of the rescue team developed symptoms of asbestos exposure after the cleanup efforts.


Mesothelioma Research Tip

Mesothelioma research is a very daunting task because the disease is difficult to recognize and diagnose effectively. The only valid fact research confirms is that it is caused by asbestos and takes many years until major symptoms appear. As numbers increase this year for individuals having this illness, research needs to drastically continue.
Luckily for Mesothelioma research, the National Institute of Cancer and many prestigious law firms are getting involved. As numbers continue to rise on a yearly basis, it is necessary for the institute to research diagnosis and treatment. For many law firms, many individuals who worked in asbestos factories seek sue if they develop mesothelioma. Many law firms are learning about the disease and helping their clients as much as possible.
A primary goal of mesothelioma research is to save upcoming generations of victims from this disease. Research is very expensive and is commonly sponsored by drug companies and the government. A unique research method used in mesothelioma research Photodynamic Therapy. This uses frequenncy light to target abnormal cells and then kills them with photosensitizing drugs.

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