People Who Work in Certain Industries at Risk of Developing Mesothelioma

The United States is a country where people are very health conscious. There are countless numbers of commercials touting the latest fitness craze, or health supplement running across television screens every day. As health-conscious as the people who live in America are, many of them are going about their day-to-day business without recognizing that they could be in danger. 

Mesothelioma is one of the most dangerous forms of cancer known to humankind. It is mainly caused by exposure to asbestos. Scientists have determined that there is no amount of the mineral that is deemed to be safe for human exposure, yet the United States has not completely banned it. Asbestos is still used in automobile parts like disk brake pads, gaskets, and drum braking linings. Asbestos is still being used in the construction industry. The mineral can be found in vinyl tile flooring, pipeline wrap, roofing coatings, and roofing felt. Asbestos is also still being used in some fertilizers and potting soils. 

Facts and Statistics

Approximately 3000 Americans are diagnosed with mesothelioma each year. Although the condition tends to affect older men more than women, it is important for people to understand that mesothelioma can manifest in anyone at any age. Between 1999 and 2015, there were greater than 45,000 mesothelioma deaths reported by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Of those deaths 16,914 were people between the ages of 75 and 84, 12,985 were between the ages of 65 and 74, 6,476 were people who were over 85 years of age, 1936 were persons who were between the ages of 45 and 54, 6237 were between the ages of 55 and 64 and 682 were 25 to 44 years of age.

In recent years the occurrence of mesothelioma in people 55 years of age and older has troubled the medical community. An ongoing manifestation of mesothelioma in people in this age group indicates that people are still being exposed to asbestos fibers at work and in the environment. This is happening in spite of the fact that both the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) engaged in regulatory actions to limit the amount of asbestos exposure people get in their work environments. There are groups like the Mesothelioma Cancer Network that are available to help those who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or believe they are at risk, that are available to answer questions and provide additional resources.

Risk Factors Associated With Mesothelioma

There are some strong indicators that geographical location and the environment play a significant role in terms of who contracts mesothelioma. There are eight states that seem to report more confirmed cases of deadly cancer than others each year. These states include Washington, Maine, Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Minnesota, Wyoming, and Oregon. The people who were diagnosed with mesothelioma in these states worked in about a significant number of industries, with a greater number of them working in the construction and shipbuilding sectors.

There are other factors that people need to be aware of that are associated with mesothelioma. People who smoke and are exposed to asbestos are more likely to develop some form of cancer in their longs than people who don’t. Genetics can also play a role in terms of who develops the disease and who doesn’t. Studies have also indicated that exposure to radiation could also be a factor in the manifestation of mesothelioma. Scientists have identified a relationship between people who have had radiation therapy and mesothelioma.

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