Asbestos fibers can be consumed or inhaled and result in mesothelioma cancer. The asbestos fibers become lodged in the heart, lungs, or abdominal lining. Fibrous objects result in inflammation and scarring. Mesothelioma cancer may occur as a result of asbestos exposure.
What Is the Main Cause of Mesothelioma?
The most frequent cause of mesothelioma is asbestos. Asbestos is carcinogenic in all forms. 90% or more of mesothelioma cases are caused by asbestos exposure.
Asbestos fibers can become entrenched in the lining of the heart, abdomen, or lungs after being inhaled or consumed. As soon as they are lodged, the fibers produce swelling and scarring, which can ultimately result in mesothelioma tumors. Other asbestos-related illnesses, such asbestosis, can also be brought on by inhaling the fibers.
In addition to causing swelling and scarring, asbestos fibers can harm DNA both directly and indirectly.
How Asbestos Damages DNA
- Asbestos interferes with cell division.
- This interference can cause cellular damage.
- As a result of the cellular changes, cancerous mutations may occur.
- Asbestos can cause immune cells to release dangerous gases, which increase inflammation and promotes lung fibrosis.
- Over time, this inflammation can lead to DNA damage and cancer.
Which type of mesothelioma develops depends on where the DNA is damaged and where there are implanted asbestos fibers.
- Peritoneal mesothelioma develops in the lining of the abdomen.
- Pleural mesothelioma develops in the lining of the lungs and chest wall.
- Pericardial mesothelioma develops in the lining of the heart.
Patients typically don’t start showing signs of mesothelioma for 10 to 50 years after being exposed to asbestos.
Occupations With High Risk of Exposure
- Asbestos miners
- Auto mechanics
- Construction and demolition workers
- Insulation installers
- Oil refinery workers
- Power plant workers
- Railroad workers
- Roofing, carpentry and floor installers
- Shipyard workers
Recent years have seen a rise in asbestos laws, which has helped limit the usage of the carcinogen. However, due to the widespread historical usage of asbestos, workplace exposure is still a problem. Firefighters and construction workers are among those who are most at danger of coming into touch with asbestos. When working in older homes and schools, these men and women might come into contact with asbestos.
Asbestos Exposure Outside of the Workplace
Exposure can occur from the natural environment, asbestos products or secondary contact with loved ones.
Secondhand exposure commonly occurs when asbestos fibers are brought home on asbestos workers’ hair, skin and clothing.
Individuals without any ties to asbestos workers may potentially become exposed to asbestos. The presence of the carcinogen in houses and everyday objects raises the possibility of harmful exposure. When tackling their own remodeling jobs, homeowners run the risk of being exposed to asbestos. The majority of homes built before 1980 most certainly included asbestos in their construction.
It has also been discovered that talcum powder, potting soil, and paint all contain traces of the mineral. Brands of children’s makeup have recently come under fire for marketing products that contained talcum powder laced with asbestos.