What causes Meso? Are you at risk?
What are the symptoms?
Where was asbestos used?
During the Industrial Revolution, asbestos use grew in factories and other heavy industries throughout the United States and abroad. Asbestos was used not only in factories, but also in oil refineries, chemical plants, on railroad cars, and in shipyards. Asbestos materials were used to insulate pipes and boilers in steam locomotives, to line tanks and ovens in refineries, and could be found literally everywhere aboard the nation’s ships, from engine rooms to galleys. As the twentieth century progressed, more uses for asbestos were found. It was used in the brakes and clutches of automobiles, insulated America’s new skyscrapers, and was used extensively in the construction industry, where it was used in asbestos products like joint compounds, cements, roofing shingles, ceiling and floor tiles, siding, stucco, plaster, and much more. Those workers at risk included any that worked in an asbestos-heavy industry or frequently handled asbestos products.
How to Potentially Avoid Asbestos Exposure
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has also issued recommendations on how people can protect themselves against non-occupational asbestos exposure:
- Regular inspection and monitoring of asbestos products or materials in and around the home; asbestos was part of many common building materials.
- Having asbestos abatement carried out by trained, licensed professionals with proper safety equipment only.
- Avoiding sweeping, vacuuming, sanding, scraping or otherwise disturbing any surfaces that may be made from asbestos or contain asbestos materials.
- Avoiding the use of tobacco; studies have demonstrated a link between smoking and mesothelioma showing that smokers face up to a 9000% greater chance of contracting asbestos cancer.
- Getting regular checkups, particularly if there is a known history of asbestos exposure (i.e. having worked in an industrial occupation).
So I am taking a break today from writing about food to partake in a campaign to spread awareness about mesothelioma - a cancer caused only by asbestos exposure with everyone. The goal is just to make people more aware of the cancer and to understand where it comes from. If you want more information about mesothelioma, please visit the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance!