How does Asbestos Exposure Cause Cancer? A blog about cancer being associated with asbestos exposure.

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Despite the fact that asbestos is a known carcinogen and its use has been banned or severely restricted in most countries, there is still quite a bit of misinformation about this dangerous mineral circulating in the public domain. A common misconception is that asbestos exposure can cause all types of cancer, when in reality, it can only cause a handful of specific cancers.

This blog aims to clear up any inaccuracies you may have read or heard about asbestos exposure and cancer. Asbestos exposure can be extremely harmful to your health, but it is important to understand how it causes these types of cancer so you know what kind of warning signs you should look out for if you were exposed. This blog will cover three different types of cancers that are caused by asbestos exposure:


Asbestos is the primary cause of mesothelioma, an aggressive form of cancer that develops in the lining of the lungs known as the mesothelium. This type of cancer is very rare, accounting for less than 1 percent of all cancers in the United States. Mesothelioma typically does not develop until about 20 years after initial asbestos exposure. The latency period for this type of cancer often makes it difficult to diagnose because patients do not always connect their symptoms with past exposure

What is asbestos?

Asbestos was used as a building material between 1945 and 1975. This toxic mineral can be found in older homes, commercial buildings, schools and shipyards. If the asbestos-containing material is disturbed or damaged, fibers are released into the air. When inhaled these fibers can cause serious health problems

Asbestos is a natural mineral found in the earth. It is made up of fibers that are thin, strong and flexible. Because of its durability and heat resistance, asbestos was widely used in many industries including cement, brake linings, roofing materials, floor coverings and insulation.

Asbestos exposure has been linked to numerous diseases such as asbestosis, lung cancer, esophageal cancer and mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a rare cancer of the lining of the chest or abdomen that can occur decades after asbestos exposure. Of all cancers related to asbestos exposure, mesothelioma has the highest fatality rate.

Exposure to asbestos occurs when microscopic fibers become airborne and get trapped in body tissues. The tiny particles are unable to be expelled from the lungs or abdomen, causing irritation and eventually scarring. Asbestos scar tissue builds up over time, leading to inflammation and abnormal cell growth called fibrosis.

There are three types of mesothelioma: pleural (lungs), peritoneal (abdomen) and pericardial (heart). Each type occurs in cells called mesothelial cells that line various organs throughout the body. When asbestos fibers become trapped in these cells they cause damage

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified all forms of asbestos as carcinogenic to humans. Asbestos exposure is responsible for the development of several types of cancer, including mesothelioma, lung cancer and other cancers.

It is important to note that not all people exposed to asbestos will develop cancer. There are many factors that influence whether a person exposed to asbestos will develop an asbestos-related disease. These include:

The amount of asbestos a person was exposed to

Asbestos is a commercial name, not a mineralogical definition, given to a variety of six naturally occurring fibrous minerals. These minerals possess high tensile strength, flexibility, resistance to chemical and thermal degradation, resistance to fire, and sound absorption capabilities. Because of these characteristics, asbestos has been used in over 3,000 products including cement pipes and sheets, friction materials like brake pads and clutches, insulation for pipes and buildings, textiles and coatings for electrical wiring.

Asbestos is generally considered to be carcinogenic if swallowed or inhaled. Asbestos fibers can become lodged in the lining of the lungs or abdomen for long periods of time before causing inflammation and scarring leading to cancerous conditions. Asbestos exposure may also lead to pleural effusion (fluid buildup around the lungs), asbestosis (scarring of the lungs), mesothelioma (cancer of the pulmonary lining), gastrointestinal cancers, and cancers of other organs.

The most common cause of asbestos exposure is inhalation during manufacturing processes or demolition work on older buildings. Some individuals may be at risk due to contact with contaminated soil near former manufacturing plants or sites where old buildings have been demolished. Asbestos fibers in the soil have the potential to become airborne if disturbed by wind or

Asbestos is a group of six minerals that occur naturally in the environment. The fibres of asbestos are soft and flexible and can be separated into thin threads and woven together. Asbestos has been used in products for its strength and heat resistance. These applications include roofing shingles, ceiling and floor tiles, paper, cement pipe, brake linings, clothing, and other materials.

Asbestos exposure is the cause of many diseases including mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis and pleural plaques. Asbestos exposure can happen at home or in the workplace. Most people who develop asbestos-related diseases have worked on jobs where they inhaled asbestos fibres or brought home asbestos fibres on their clothing.

People who get an asbestos-related disease may not have symptoms for 10 to 40 years after they were exposed to asbestos. If you have been exposed to high levels of asbestos over a long time you should tell your doctor about your exposure history so that he/she can monitor your health. Some tests may be needed to check for signs of disease if symptoms are present.

Asbestos isn’t one single mineral, but a term used to describe six naturally occurring minerals that are fibrous. Chrysotile, amosite, crocidolite and tremolite, actinolite and anthophyllite are the six minerals included in this category.

Asbestos fibers are strong, flexible and resistant to heat, fire, and chemicals. The fibers can be woven together or combined with other materials to make products that resist heat, electricity and corrosion. Asbestos has been used in many industrial products including insulating materials for pipes and boilers; ceiling and floor tiles; paints and coatings; brake pads; gaskets; auto clutches; fireplace cement; textiles for fire-fighting suits; protective clothing for industrial workers and many more items.

Asbestos was also used in many other products such as lawn furniture and artificial Christmas trees. These asbestos-containing products are not known to present any health risks unless they are disturbed or damaged in some way.

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