Pleural Mesothelioma, Asbestos Cancer

by Mesothelioma & Asbestos Awarness Center

Contrary to popular belief, the dangers of asbestos exposure are as real today as they were when asbestos was banned for general use in the late 1970's. Among today's biggest risk pool are those engaged in construction and remodeling.

To understand the scope of the problem, it is first important to understand how extensive the use of asbestos truly was. A national survey conducted in the late 1990's indicated that nearly 78% of all structures built prior to 1980 contained at least some asbestos containing materials, which the government classifies as those which contain at least 1% asbestos. Asbestos use was incredibly widespread because it was so versatile, making it a perfect component of wall insulation, drywall, roofing, floors, and ceiling materials.

Therefore, anyone who comes in contact with older materials of this nature is naturally at risk. While construction using new materials likely won't result in an asbestos exposure, the disposal and deconstruction of older materials and fixtures puts construction workers at tremendous risk. Demolition and disturbing older materials only makes them more dangerous, as the asbestos fibers are much more likely to be released into the air. Asbestos materials are generally stable so long as they are not damaged or disturbed, but the nature of construction work makes this impossible as these materials are replaced or modified.

Asbestos was banned due to conclusive evidence between asbestos exposure s and the development of respiratory complications. Among the many health problems caused by asbestos exposure is the rare cancer, mesothelioma. In addition to asbestos cancer, asbestos has been linked to diminished lung function decades after an exposure. Those who have knowingly handled older asbestos materials should consider themselves at high risk as seek the consultation of a doctor well versed in thoracic oncology and pleural mesothelioma.