What is asbestos?

Asbestos is a group of six fibrous minerals that occur naturally in metamorphic deposits located around the world.  Asbestos fibers are durable, strong, flexible, resistant to wear, they don’t burn, it is abundant and inexpensive to work with.

Of the hydrous magnesium silicate variety, the six types include tremolite asbestos, actinolite asbestos, anthophyllite asbestos, chrysotile asbestos, amosite asbestos and crocidolite asbestos.  Asbestos is a chemically inert mineral that is fire resistanct and does not conduct heat or electricity (making it a commonly used insulator), is insoluble and is without odor. Asbestos’ combination of properties made it a valuable resource, regularly used in buildings, automobiles, shipyards and a variety of household products.

How to prevent getting Mesothelioma.

One gets mesothelioma from being exposed to asbestos.  So prevention for getting the disease is choosing to avoid exposure to asbestos and eliminating sources of asbestos to be exposed to.  Asbestos is not gone from the environment or workplace even after the many limitations that have been placed on its use.  Asbestos has not been banned in the United States even though there has been a growing body of medical research, cancer cases, and well documented dangers at it.

The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) issued a ruling on July 12, 1989 to ban nearly all products containing asbestos.

The fourth circuit of the US Court of Appeals overturned an EPA ban on asbestos.
US Court of Appeals says the EPA can not ban all asbestos products

But in 1991 this rule was overturned by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans and consequently only the following six specific asbestos-containing product categories remain banned; many other products containing asbestos continue to be sold and manufactured today in the U.S.:

  1. Commercial paper
  2. Specialty paper
  3. Rollboard
  4. Flooring felt
  5. Corrugated paper
  6. New uses of asbestos

Continue reading How to prevent getting Mesothelioma.

What causes Mesothelioma? (part 1 of 2)

Exposure to asbestos fibers can cause malignant Mesothelioma
A single fiber of asbestos can cause malignant Mesothelioma 15 – 50 years after exposure

Asbestos exposure is almost always the primary cause of mesothelioma cancer.  Mesothelioma might also be caused by a few other factors, but this opinion is a continuing area of research.

While today, the average asbestos levels in buildings seem to be very low, an estimated three (3) million employees in construction and general manufacturing industries still face significant asbestos exposure on the job.  These people will become victims of asbestos exposure. The greatest exposures to asbestos are still in the construction trades.  The primary exposure to the dangers of asbestos are during the removal of products made with asbestos during renovation or demolition of buildings.  And of course, everyone exposed to breathing the dust particles created by the terrorist attack on the Twin Tower Trade buildings on September 11, 2001 are at high risk of developing Mesothelioma.  The risk of developing Mesothelioma increases over time, from 15 to 30 years, after the exposure to asbestos has stopped.

Continue reading What causes Mesothelioma? (part 1 of 2)

Who can get Mesothelioma Cancer?

Everybody who has been exposed to asbestos may develop mesothelioma.  An estimated 3 million employees in construction and general industry face significant asbestos exposure on the job, even though the average asbestos levels in buildings today seem to be very low.

Asbestos causes mesothelioma lung cancer
Asbestos was used as a fire retardant

The more exposure one has one has to asbestos, the greater the risk of having mesothelioma cancer.  Work environments are the primary source where people get exposed to asbestos and later in life develop the disease.

The greatest exposures to workers are in construction trades.   Asbestos was used in building insulation, cement, automobile brakes, roofing shingles, flooring, piping and this is a small sample.  So many workers were exposed during the manufacturing of asbestos products.  Asbestos-related illness is also occurring in shipyard workers, school custodians, miners, railroad workers and even movie set workers.

Continue reading Who can get Mesothelioma Cancer?

What is the meaning of the word “Pleura”?

Pleura is the general name given to the mesothelium that lines the chest cavity.  Mesothelium surrounds the lungs and other organs.  The mesothelium layer that surrounds the lungs is called the visceral pleura.  The mesothelium layer inside the chest wall is called the parietal pleura.  And the space found between these layers is called the pleural space.

visceral pleura parietal pleura

What types of Mesothelioma are there?

malignant mesothelioma
malignant mesothelioma

And what makes them different?

There are four types of Mesothelioma which include:

Mesothelioma cancer generally affects the mesothelial tissue lining of the body’s main three largest cavities: 1) the lung cavity (the pleura), 2) the abdominal cavity (the peritoneum) , and 3) the heart sac (pericardium).   So, the type of malignant mesothelioma is named after the section of the mesothelium that it affects.

Continue reading What types of Mesothelioma are there?

Mesothelioma Day: the September 26th Resolution

Mesothelimoa Day — September 26, 2010

This year, MesoRFA produced a resolution for the nation and officially launched a campaign to raise national public awareness about mesothelioma cancer and the need of more financial support to fund the research for a cure.  There is so much more research to be completed and comparatively little support from the Government specifically for treatments and a cure to mesothelioma.  There just is not enough public awareness to get the Government’s focus on this issue.

Let us show you the numbers that highlight the urgent need to raise more money for mesothelioma research, which is the sole purpose of the Mesothelioma Research Foundation of America.

Join with us to help make your city government aware of Mesothelioma with its declaration in support of this special day.  You can facilitate this movement and make September 26, 2011 the greatest awareness day.   Here’s how: MesoRFA Resolution for Mesothelioma Awareness Day

What is Mesothelioma?

diagnosis of mesothelioma lung cancer
Mesothelioma cancerous tumor types

Mesothelioma is a cancerous tumor that comes from the cells of the mesothelium.  The mesothelium is a thin protective lining that covers many of the body’s internal organs, including the lungs.  The mesothelium has two layers with fluid producing mesothelial cells between these layers.  The fluid has a lubricating effect that allows moving organs like the heart and lungs to slide and move easily among other internal body parts with little friction.

Continue reading What is Mesothelioma?