What Are the Major Mesothelioma Risk Factors?

People affected by a mesothelioma diagnosis, whether directly or indirectly, often find themselves fielding questions from those who aren’t familiar with mesothelioma risk factors. Because the most common form of this cancer involves the lungs, it is often assumed that there is a link between mesothelioma and smoking, but that’s not the case. The primary mesothelioma risk factor is actually exposure to asbestos and, according to the EPA, most people with asbestos-related diseases were exposed on the job. In fact, more than 20 million people in this country are at risk of developing malignant mesothelioma because of asbestos exposure according to Malignant mesothelioma: Facts, myths and hypotheses, published March 16, 2011 in the Journal of Cellular Physiology.

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, our Florida mesothelioma lawyers may be able to help you and your family pursue compensation. For a free asbestos mesothelioma claim evaluation, contact our Florida mesothelioma law firm. We offer:

  • Free consultation with an experienced Florida mesothelioma lawyer
  • No attorney fees unless you recover money
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  • Mesothelioma Risk Factors and Employment History

Asbestos Exposure

Asbestos is the name commonly given to a group of mineral fibers that were once frequently used in construction materials because of their insulating and fire retardant properties. While several asbestos products and uses are now banned by the EPA and CPSC and many manufacturers have voluntarily limited asbestos usage, asbestos was at one time found in:

  • Insulation
  • Roofing materials, e.g., shingles
  • Flooring and ceiling tiles
  • Other flooring materials
  • Cement
  • Textiles
  • Plaster of Paris
  • Door gaskets
  • Millboard
  • Textured paints
  • Fireproofing materials

Past asbestos exposure was caused by both the manufacture and installation of these and other products, and even today, remodeling activities in older homes and buildings can disturb existing asbestos fibers, potentially endangering the lives of residents and workers.

The link between asbestos exposure and mesothelioma risk factors was posited in the early 20th Century, and mesothelioma is now indisputably linked to asbestos exposure, most often occupational asbestos exposure. It is estimated that about 8 million Americans have been exposed to asbestos, and it generally takes 15-50 years for mesothelioma symptoms to present themselves after a person is exposed to asbestos.

Mesothelioma Risk Factors in Men

Surprisingly, the number of men developing mesothelioma has continued to increase in the past 50 years, while the incidence of the disease in women has remained stable. However, the majority of cases, regardless of gender, develop as a result of asbestos exposure because the mesothelioma risk factors are the same for men and women:

“It is estimated that about 50-80% of pleural MM (malignant mesothelioma) in men and 20-30% in women developed in individuals whose history indicates asbestos exposure(s) above that expected from most background settings. While rare for women, about 30% of peritoneal mesothelioma in men has been associated with exposure to asbestos.”
--Malignant mesothelioma: Facts, myths and hypotheses

Contact an Asbestos Exposure Lawyer

If you or someone you care about has received a mesothelioma diagnosis after short- or long-term exposure to asbestos, our Florida asbestos exposure lawyers can help you build a strong case against the individuals or corporations responsible.  Contact us today for a free consultation with a Florida mesothelioma and asbestos exposure lawyer.