Mesothelioma Risk Factors
Asbestos exposure is directly responsible for at least 70 to 80 percent of all mesothelioma cases. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), as many as 8 million Americans may already have been exposed through swallowing or inhaling airborne asbestos fibers.
One of the most common causes of mesothelioma is occupational exposure to asbestos. Most people who become ill due to workplace exposure either directly handled asbestos or worked in an environment with a high concentration of the fibers in the air. Certain workers, such as those in shipyards, are at a higher mesothelioma risk.
People with the greatest mesothelioma risk include those exposed to high levels of asbestos, those exposed to it at a very young age, or individuals exposed to the fibers for an extended period. Another mesothelioma risk factor is second-hand exposure. For example, a person who works with asbestos can carry the fibers on their clothing, where they can be released into the home.
A mesothelioma risk facing veterans, especially those who served in the U.S. Navy, comes from asbestos on ships.
Additional Mesothelioma Risk Factors
Not everyone who suffers prolonged exposure will develop mesothelioma. In fact, the mesothelioma risk for prolonged asbestos exposure is only about 5 percent. On the other hand, there have been cases where people with only brief exposure developed mesothelioma. This suggests that there may be other factors that increase mesothelioma risk such as:
- Genetics: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded research to find the genetic link to increased mesothelioma risk. As of August 2011, the specific gene mutation was not only found but identified to also trigger other types of cancer as well.
- Smoking: Smoking tobacco products significantly increases mesothelioma risk in those with a history of asbestos exposure.
Increased asbestos awareness can help you avoid some mesothelioma risk factors. Awareness can also lead those exposed to asbestos to seek an early diagnosis of mesothelioma.
Call Sokolove Law
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact a mesothelioma attorney at Sokolove Law today. Sokolove Law represents clients on a “contingency” basis, which means that we will only collect a fee if and when you collect compensation.