While advanced age and smoking habits are certainly two major risk factors that may lead to the development of mesothelioma, an individual’s primary risk factor in developing the disease is asbestos exposure. In reality, most cases of pleural mesothelioma are directly linked to exposure to asbestos. This exposure to high levels of asbestos usually occurs over time while performing duties at work.
Because of the fire-resistant and heat properties of asbestos, the material is used in some types of insulation. Unfortunately, in the past, the tiny asbestos fibers were breathed in by many people, and those fibers injured and scratched the pleural mesothelium. Despite the asbestos industry’s best efforts to prove that there was no link between asbestos and mesothelioma, the connection is widely accepted.
Certain laborers who are regularly exposed to asbestos are certainly at risk of developing the disease – as are their loved ones. The tiny asbestos fibers find their way onto clothes and hair and are then inhaled by people at home.
Mesothelioma takes a very long time develop and the majority of people with mesothelioma experience symptoms for a few months or more before a diagnosis is reached