Understanding Asbestos and Mesothelioma

Asbestos is said to be one of the main industrial causes of cancer in the world. Exposure to asbestos increases the risk of Mesothelioma, a rare cancer of the thin membranes lining the abdominal cavity and surrounding internal organs, and other asbestos-related diseases. These pages contain an in-depth look at asbestos and mesothelioma.

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is the name given to a group of minerals that occur naturally as bundles of fibers, which can be separated into thin threads. These fibers are not affected by heat or chemicals and do not conduct electricity. For these reasons, asbestos has been widely used in many industries.

Asbestos fiber masses tend to break easily into a dust composed of tiny particles that can float in the air and stick to clothes. The fibers may be easily inhaled or swallowed and can cause serious health problems.

Asbestos Related Diseases

Mesothelioma

What is Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer in which malignant (cancerous) cells are found in the mesothelium, a protective sac that covers most of the body's internal organs. Most people who develop mesothelioma have worked on jobs where they inhaled asbestos particles. It usually takes between 10 and 40 years for mesothelioma to appear after a person first inhales asbestos.

Asbestosis

What is Asbestosis?

Asbestosis is a serious, progressive, long-term disease of the lungs. Asbestosis is not a cancer.

Lung Cancer

What is Lung Cancer?

Lung cancer causes the largest number of deaths related to asbestos exposure.

 

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