Asbestos – Only Identified Cause of Malignant Mesothelioma & Uses of It

Malignant mesothelioma is a deadly, but rare form of cancer that develops in the thin membrane that protect most organs in the body including the lungs, heart, and the abdomen. Research has indicated that malignant mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos 1,2,3, that’s the reason it’s sometimes referred to as asbestos cancer. People who think they may have been exposed to asbestos at workplace, at home, or other environments, they need to seek medical help for early screening. One big problem that has been seen with mesothelioma is it’s latency period – it has a long period for it to be diagnosed something that has made its prognosis to be poor and the life expectancy to be short.1

How Asbestos Causes Mesothelioma

As of today, exposure to asbestos may be said to be the only known cause of malignant mesothelioma. People who ingest or inhale asbestos will have the microscopic fibers getting lodged in the lining tissue of organs like the abdomen and chest.

In March 2009, IARC or the International Agency for Research on Cancer reconfirmed that the leading cause of malignant mesothelioma is asbestos exposure, and all asbestos forms cause the cancer. About two years after this reconfirmation, IARC did a presentation showing the connection between cancer and asbestos at WHO conference in Spain. In the presentation, IARC said that scientific evidence confirming asbestos exposure as the main cause of mesothelioma has been strengthening over time.1

What’s Asbestos?

Talking of asbestos, it’s a naturally occurring mineral that has been used for many centuries. It has been used in products including insulation and textiles. The mineral saw an increased usage in early to mid of 20th century recording its peak of usage in USA during the Second World War. Not until 1980s was its commercial usage stopped.1

asbestos

Asbestos on floors roofs pipes ceilings

Despite the curb of using asbestos for commercial applications, people are still likely to be exposed to the mineral. This substance consists of flexible, microscopic fibers deemed to be lighter than air, but with high tensile strength. A fiber of asbestos is considered to be a hundred or so times thinner when compared to the human hair.

asbestos fibers

Asbestos Fibers

Uses of Asbestos

The substance has high resistance to corrosion, water, and heat damage, and this is one reason why it gained popularity in usage within a range of industries and applications including building insulation, brake pads for cars, and gaskets.

Asbestos found in Uses of asbestos

Reference List

  1. CAUSES OF MESOTHELIOMA. https://www.mesotheliomagroup.com/mesothelioma/causes/
  2. Mesothelioma Causes & Risk Factors.  https://www.asbestos.com/mesothelioma/causes.php
  3. Asbestos Cancer. https://www.mesothelioma.com/asbestos-cancer/
  4. Asbestos – The Primary Cause of Mesothelioma. https://www.mesotheliomaguide.com/mesothelioma/causes/asbestos/

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