Though asbestos company owners often argue that low level exposure to their contaminated products cannot lead to the rare form of cancer known as malignant mesothelioma, a recent study is contradicting their assertions, as it concludes that those with minimal exposure are actually at a greater risk of being diagnosed with the disease than is true of those exposed on a daily basis.
Higher risk for mesothelioma among those not occupationally exposed to asbestos
These starting mesothelioma results come from a study conducted by Italian public health officials who looked at the records of nearly 200 people who died of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases between the years 2000 and 2017. They focused on the population of a small town that was the site of an asbestos plant for more than 60 years, analyzing their medical records to determine exactly what their exposure was. To their surprise, they found that those who did not work in the factory had a higher risk for mesothelioma than those who were exposed on the job, and concluded that no amount of asbestos exposure could be considered safe.
Study shows that small exposure can lead to deadly disease
Attorneys fending off mesothelioma lawsuits work to disprove the notion that small amounts of asbestos can cause illness, but looking at what happened to the residents of Broni calls their theory into question. While those who worked in the asbestos cement plant died of numerous asbestos-related diseases, including mesothelioma, those whose only exposure to asbestos was peripheral, through contact with family members and in they neighborhood, were specifically at risk for mesothelioma and less likely to face asbestosis, lung cancer or other asbestos-related illnesses. Additionally, they succumbed to their disease faster than the workers. According to lead author Silvia Vision, “The present data appear to support the hypothesis that even an exposure to a very little amount of asbestos can cause mesothelioma.”
Diagnosis with malignant mesothelioma often comes as a surprise, particularly to those who did not work in an occupational environment that was known to be contaminated with asbestos. If you have been diagnosed with this rare and fatal form of cancer and need help determining where you asbestos exposure came from, the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net can help. Contact us today at 1-800-692-8608.