Causes and Risk Factors

Mesothelioma is a particularly dangerous form of cancer that attacks the mesothelium, the membranous tissue lining many internal organs in the body. What causes mesothelioma, and how do you get it?

Asbestos Exposure

Almost all cases of mesothelioma occur as a result of exposure to asbestos— one of several naturally occurring mineral substances with fire-resistant properties. Asbestos was, at one time, mined extensively and used as insulation in buildings and several other products, but it was discovered to be a carcinogen—a cancer-causing agent.

Being exposed to asbestos doesn’t guarantee that you will get mesothelioma, but it significantly increases your risk. The more contact you have with asbestos, and the longer you’re exposed to it, the greater your risk.

Risk Factors

The majority of people who will contract mesothelioma have encountered asbestos on a regular basis, whether due to their environment or exposure as part of their job.

Risk factors may include:

  • Working in construction. Demolition and renovation of older structures often exposes workers to high levels of asbestos. Masons, roofers, electricians, plumbers, HVAC technicians and insulators may also be at risk.
  • Industrial occupations. Workers in power plants, shipyards, steel mills, smelting facilities and certain factories frequently have increased exposure to asbestos.
  • First response occupations. Firefighters, police officers and other first responders often must enter zones where asbestos levels are high.
  • Military duty. Active duty personnel often enter high-asbestos areas.
  • Asbestos and erionite mining. Working in asbestos mines by nature exposes miners. Likewise, erionite formed from volcanic ash is similar to asbestos in composition and is also linked to mesothelioma.
  • Living in proximity to asbestos or erionite mines.
  • Secondary exposure. If you live with a family member who works around asbestos, your exposure levels go up, as well.

What to Do If You Experience Symptoms

If you experience any possible symptoms of mesothelioma and believe you may be at risk, consult a physician to be tested. If you are diagnosed with any form of asbestos-related disease or mesothelioma, you and your family may be eligible for compensation. It is not always necessary to file a lawsuit to receive compensation for an asbestos-related injury. Call Madeksho Law Firm at 888-910-MESO (6376) for a FREE consultation.