Asbestos and Mesothelioma: What’s the Connection?
Chances are you’ve seen the television commercials, but what is mesothelioma? Most people know that the fatal disease is caused by asbestos, but are unaware of the facts. There is no safe amount of asbestos exposure, and anyone is susceptible. However, there are several factors, including occupation, the age of one’s home, race and gender, that put some people at higher risk than others.
Asbestos is a known carcinogen and was a popular mineral used in building materials until the 1980’s. Due to overwhelming evidence that asbestos exposure is directly correlated with mesothelioma cancer, regulations in the United States were put into place and asbestos mining eventually ceased in 2002.
Despite its toxic properties, the mineral’s use is not banned in the U.S. and it is still imported regularly. More than eight million pounds of asbestos was imported into the country over the last decade and asbestos-containing products are still imported every day. Mining has come to an end in both the U.S. and Canada, so the United States now relies heavily on countries that still outsource the toxin.
The mineral can still be found in the flooring, piping and walls of older homes, schools and other structures across the U.S. Though relatively harmless when left intact, asbestos becomes