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The Relationship Between Mesothelioma and Asbestos

Updated on November 5, 2013

Mesothelioma Tumor

Mesothelioma tumor is indicated with yellow arrows
Mesothelioma tumor is indicated with yellow arrows | Source

The mesothelium is a thin lining that surrounds the inner body cavity and that covers many organs in the body. Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that forms in the mesothelium and is caused by inhaling asbestos particles. Subsequently, most people who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma have worked in and around asbestos.

Being exposed to asbestos dust is extremely dangerous to a person’s health, because the particles of the dust are extremely small and they never decompose. The fine asbestos particles lodge in the cells of your organs when you breathe them in. The body is unable to get rid of the asbestos particles naturally and the cells of the body begin producing malformed tissue: these are cells that multiply uncontrollably and are cancerous in nature.

The fact that asbestos particles do not decompose is the same reason why asbestos is so useful as a flame retardant: the particles do not burn and do a very good job of repelling fire. This is one of the reasons why many countries still use asbestos to this day. It is extremely dangerous when it is airborne, which is why when asbestos is found in a building it is dangerous to remove: disturbing it can cause it to become airborne which is the most dangerous. Many people believe that it is safer to leave pre existing asbestos in buildings, in order to prevent particles from becoming airborne.

Mesothelioma can take years to develop in people who have been in contact with asbestos. In fact, the average time it takes to develop is between is between 20 to 30 years. The average age of a person diagnosed with mesothelioma is generally over the age of 50. Recently it was reported in the news, that a woman who was only 49 years old passed away from mesothelioma. Many years ago she came into contact with asbestos from her father who worked in an asbestos mine. As a young girl, she would hug her father when he would come home from work, while he was still wearing his work uniform which was covered in asbestos particles. Her and her mother would also wash his uniform by hand, causing more particles to become airborne and be breathed in. Her mesothelioma became a severe health problem 30 years after coming into contact with asbestos.

Is there a cure for Mesothelioma?

No, sadly there is no cure for mesothelioma, due to the nature of this disease it is fatal. Treatment can only increase life expectancy, if successful. Some countries have banned the use of asbestos, including many found in the European Union, however asbestos is still used around the world, and many countries still continue to produce it to this day. Many countries produce asbestos and ship it out to developing nations such as India and China, which are countries that commonly use asbestos for a variety of things.

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    • gmmurgirl profile image

      Geisha M 5 years ago from Pilipinas

      Thank you for this interesting hub.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Voted useful and interesting. There was asbestos in the house that I grew up in. As a kid,I used to peel it off old pipes, but luckily, I have had no ill effects.

    • TheKatsMeow profile image
      Author

      TheKatsMeow 4 years ago from Canada

      @aviannovice Asbestos is pretty scary but I am glad you are ok!!! Thank you for voting on my Hub, I appreciate it :)

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