Even small amounts of asbestos can cause cancer

Asbestos, one of the main mesothelioma causes most associated with the disease, is a hazardous and carcinogenic substance. When asbestos fibers are swallowed or inhaled, they are prone to become trapped in the lungs and abdomen where they can remain for decades undetected. Over this time period, these fibers can gather causing inflammation and disfiguration of the tissue. This in turn affects the ability of a victim to breathe and leads to a number of serious health conditions. Mesothelioma is the most serious result of asbestos exposure. It is a cancer of the thin membranes that line organs in the body.

Defined as a human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), exposure to asbestos can lead to asbestosis, pleural effusions and lung cancer. Studies also suggest that any asbestos exposure can lead to other cancers and even increase the risk of cancers of the esophagus, throat, gallbladder, and kidney.

It is already established that mesothelioma causes, such as asbestos exposure, can lead to mesothelioma cancer and lung diseases such as asbestosis. It has also been established that the amount of asbestos it takes to be designated as dangerous has always been debated. One of the largest studies in history is confirming that even small amounts of asbestos can cause cancer.

This study has been published by the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (JOEM). Subject participants included 58,279 patients aged 55 to 69 years. They were all male and monitored for 17.3 years. At the conclusion of the study, 2,600 patients were diagnosed with mesothelioma, lung cancer and laryngeal cancer. Research information demonstrated that “the multivariable-adjusted model showed overall positive associations between all levels of asbestos exposure and mesothelioma, lung cancer, and laryngeal cancer.”

The abstract was published in January of 2014 by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI)-U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM)-National Institutes of Health (NIH). It also showed that various other conditions, including glottis cancer and lung adenocarcinoma, “showed only a positive association after prolonged, higher asbestos exposure.”

Summarized for information related to mesothelioma causes, levels of asbestos encountered – however small or at the low end of the spectrum – have no real influence on the rate at which mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases are encountered. The EPA has always stated that any level of exposure to asbestos is dangerous. This agency is among several that continue to lobby for the complete ban of asbestos in the U. S. as the mineral is still considered legal and can be found in more than 3,000 products on the market. Many future victims have no idea they are purchasing or using products that contain a known and deadly carcinogen.

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