Mesothelioma is a rare cancer that develops from cells in the mesothelium. It is generally caused by exposure to asbestos. The mesothelium is a protective cell lining that covers many organs. Mesothelioma generally affects this outer lining in the lungs and chest cavity.
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral. Like coal, it is mined from the earth before being manufactured into products like floor tiles and insulation. However, just like coal can be found on the surface, so can asbestos. That can make it difficult to avoid. There are many way to be exposed to asbestos: environmental exposure from naturally occurring deposits, living in or working in a home or building with disturbed asbestos, occupational hazards such as mining asbestos, or even simply working with the clothing worn in the mines. Across the globe, nearly everyone who has developed mesothelioma has been exposed to asbestos in one way or another.
One of the biggest dangers of working or living near asbestos, is that there are no warning signs. Most of the symptoms and illness caused by asbestos, including mesothelioma, have a 20-50 year delay. Your childhood home or your high school could be contaminated, and you would never know you’d been exposed until reaching your thirties, forties, maybe even your seventies or eighties.
Over the last few decades, the prognosis for those struggling with many varieties of cancer has slowly been edging towards optimism. Unfortunately, when it comes to mesothelioma, the outcome is not yet so happy. While surgery, chemo, and radiation can help extend a victim’s life span, cures are rare.
We didn’t write about mesothelioma because we wanted to depress our readers. We simply want them to understand the realities of dealing with asbestos. When you choose to renovate without testing, decide to live in a home where asbestos fibers are detected in the air, or attempt to remove asbestos yourself this is the future you may very well be setting yourself up for. Anyone else in the area, home, or even just near your clothing at the laundromat, are also subjected to the risk. Asbestos has its place in society. It’s a fantastic insulator, fire proofer, and more beyond, but it’s also very, very dangerous when not handled safely by professionals. If you have concerns about asbestos in your home or workplace, contact Amity Environmental today at (587) 892-7920.