Mesothelioma Risks and Common Causes
Mesothelioma is caused by asbestos exposure, but what types of people would have been exposed? Asbestos had many commercial applications throughout the last century. Its affordability, strength, and ability to provide insulation made it a sought-after manufacturing material.
Many individuals who were eventually diagnosed with mesothelioma were:
- Exposed at the workplace
- Exposed during their time on active duty in the military
- Suffer from mesothelioma due to secondary exposure
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Occupational Asbestos Exposure
Many people who developed mesothelioma were exposed to asbestos at the workplace. Below is just a sampling of common workplaces where mesothelioma may likely have been present:
- Industrial or manufacturing plants – Many companies used asbestos to manufacture products that were strong, heat resistant, or insulated; they may also have used asbestos to insulate hot piping and machinery
- Railroads – Asbestos was used in locomotive parts
- Construction sites – Asbestos was commonly used to insulate buildings
- Auto mechanic shops – Asbestos was used to manufacture brakes, gaskets, and transmissions
- Brick and stone masons – Asbestos was used to strengthen building block
Military Asbestos Exposure
Some statistics suggest that upwards of 30% of all mesothelioma patients are veterans of the military. Many veterans were exposed to asbestos, as it was a common building and insulating material for products that military personnel often used.
Some common sources for military exposure are listed below:
- Shipyards and naval ships
- Airplanes and jets used by the Air Force
- Jeeps and other military vehicles
Secondary Asbestos Exposure
Some individuals are diagnosed with mesothelioma even though, to their knowledge, they were never directly exposed. Secondary exposure, particularly common in women, is mesothelioma caused by exposure to asbestos fibers on someone they came in contact with. For example, an individual can develop mesothelioma after coming into contact with someone who brought asbestos fibers home with them (such as on their clothing).
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