Mesothelioma, the deadly disease that has garbled headlines of the last decade, is contracted by exposure to higher asbestos fibers. Unfortunately, the under-regulation of the use of asbestos in the past years, and probably still today exposed millions of fibers in the air and as thousands of results contracted the disease. It can safely be said that almost everyone has been exposed to asbestos to varying degrees. Due to the unique nature of the disease, even those who have only minimal exposure are at risk of contracting the disease. Indeed, virtually everyone has a risk of contracting mesothelioma. But this kind of statement perhaps goes beyond the bounds of rationality. While it is true that individuals who have been exposed to relatively small amounts of asbestos for relatively short periods of time have contracted the disease, it is a rarity rather than a regularity.
In fact, the vast majority of mesothelioma cases involve people who have been exposed to asbestos fibers in the air during intense and prolonged periods of time.The industries are most at risk of prolonged exposure and therefore contraction are shipbuilding trades, asbestos mining and grinding, textile manufacturing, insulation work in construction, and brake repair personnel. There are, however, other minor factors that can affect the likelihood of contracting the disease. Among these is radiation exposure. There have been causes in which individuals who have been exposed to radiation have subsequently displayed signs of and eventually contracted mesothelioma. However, empirical studies to try to verify this correlation has not been proven on this statement very strongly. Another more certain cause of the disease was taking the polio vaccine between 1955 and 1963. Some batches of this vaccine were contaminated with the simian virus 40 that was detected in a multitude of rare forms of cancer, including Mesothelioma.
Those involved in construction or who lived in homes in the Cappadocia region of Turkey are also particularly at risk. In this region, home builders used Erionite, which is a type of zeolite silica stone. Exposure to the fiber sets of this building material has resulted in an annual death rate of about 1% of the population that dies from mesothelioma each year in Turkey. One of the most influential factors affecting mesothelioma contraction is genetic. Some people who have been exposed to long periods and high amounts of asbestos have not contracted the disease. As a result, doctors have concluded that genetics play a major role in determining whether or not patients contract the disease. Unfortunately, the variability of genes that offers some resistance to the disease also means that some are particularly vulnerable to asbestos exposure.