Mesothelioma is becoming more common these days. It has only been recently discovered that asbestos exposure is dangerous to lung health. Over the last few decades, many people have worked closely with manufacturing asbestos insulation, or had it in their homes as insulation. Many people have become seriously ill with the lung disease, mesothelioma.
This disease is a rare lung cancer that begins in the mesothelium. The mesothelium is is made of thin tissue layers that surround the organs, including the lungs. The fluid in the mesothelium eases the friction between the chest wall and the lungs as we breathe normally. The proper name of this lung cancer is pleural mesothelioma. An affected lung becomes very black. The cancer can also metastasize to other parts of the body.
The highest risk for getting mesothelioma is inhaling asbestos fibers. It can take perhaps 40 years for the signs of the disease to appear. The patients who have inhaled asbestos fibers at work, also have brought the fibers home on their clothing. Anyone at home who handled the clothing could inhale the same fibers. This would become a risk to them. If there are factories dealing with asbestos near the home, anyone in the area of the factory could also be inhaling asbestos. The fibers could be carried for miles in the wind.
There is such a danger in living near these factories that even if the buildings were destroyed, the asbestos fibers would be released into the air and breathed in by even more people. The materials carried away by trucks would also be releasing more fibers to wherever the truck was going.
Some of the jobs that are most at risk to asbestos exposure are, of course, the asbestos manufacturers, vehicle repair, miners, workers in oil refineries, construction workers, rail workers, tile cutters, and any other jobs that expose the worker to fibers being released into the atmosphere. Most of the jobs are involved with the destruction and removal of old building materials.
There are more safety methods nowadays to keep the worker safe from breathing in asbestos fibers. Safety masks, and better work environments will help keep the number of future mesothelioma patients from growing.