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Where Does Mesothelioma Come From?
About 3,000 new cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed every year. While the annual number of these cases has slightly decreased over the past 20 years, it’s vitally important to know where mesothelioma comes from.
Asbestos: The #1 Risk Factor
Exposure to asbestos — whether at work, at school or at home — is the main culprit in causing mesothelioma. In fact, most experts agree that asbestos exposure is the primary cause of the disease.
When people breathe in asbestos fibers, they can enter the lungs. Once in the lungs, these fibers can enter the lining of the lung and chest wall, injuring the cells there and causing irritation that leads to mesothelioma.
Millions of people have been exposed to asbestos at work, since many building materials used in both public and residential buildings still may contain asbestos. These materials include (but are not limited to):
- Insulation materials
- Shingles, siding and roofing tiles
- Soundproofing applications
- Plaster and joint compounds
- Casings for electrical wires
- Floor tiles and flooring adhesives
- Seals and sealants
It only takes one to three months of asbestos exposure to cause mesothelioma — which can take up to 40 years to appear.