Mesothelioma is a cancer in humans caused by prolonged proximity and exposure to asbestos. Among the nearly 50,000 mesothelioma deaths reported between 1999-2015 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the majority of deaths occurred in men and women older than 85 years old, and of white, black, or Asian races. Those who died from mesothelioma and were younger than 55 years old, the CDC noted, were likely to be consistently exposed to asbestos fibers.
Humans come into contact with asbestos mostly through working environment situations. This exposure could occur from inhaling asbestos fibers in a production facility that makes industrial products used with asbestos, or from breathing in tainted air in old buildings that were built using asbestos.
Mesothelioma and Gender
Because there were more men who worked in asbestos-producing factories over the past 50-100 years, mesothelioma is more prominent in men. The cancer has shown up in women, but according to SEER statistics for 2015-2017, the number of women with incidences of mesothelioma is at historic lows.
Women possibly contracted mesothelioma through secondhand exposure to asbestos. Perhaps a father in the household brought home asbestos on shoes and clothing. Small children could have suffered exposure to asbestos in these circumstances. A woman possibly lived in an old building in her earlier years which had crumbling asbestos materials in the walls and vents. This could have sparked the asbestos exposure which may lead to a woman contracting mesothelioma, without having first-hand exposure to asbestos fibers.
Cases of Mesothelioma
StatistIcs from studies by the CDC show that 95% of persons whose death certificate indicated that malignant mesothelioma was the underlying or contributing cause of death were whites and non-Hispanic. More than a third of these white males were between 75-84 years old. That should answer the question “are certain people most likely to get mesothelioma?”
The Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program notes that while cases of mesothelioma are expected to dwindle in the United States in the coming two decades, there are still cases around the world. This is largely due to developing countries still manufacturing products made with asbestos.
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In the Industrial age of the United States, there were factories everywhere, in rust-belt cities and throughout the northeastern states. These factories were producing products that contained asbestos. Thus, the workers in these facilities had a greater incidence of exposure to the deadly chemical.
U.S. government regulations restricted the use of asbestos in the country in the past 50 years, but have not entirely banned the product. Due to the restrictions, however, the number of mesothelioma cases have fallen sharply in the past 20 years.
There is a lengthy latency factor in mesothelioma cases. People with exposure to asbestos on a consistent basis in the last half-century could still see a sudden emergence of symptoms of chronic coughing, difficulty breathing and constant chest pain. These signs could come 20, 30 or even 40 years after the first exposure to asbestos.
Many cases that emerge in the future may be founded on exposure to asbestos in home demolitions and renovations from pre-1980 homes around the country. Another large number may come from people who worked at the ashes of the World Trade Center in 2001, inhaling the asbestos fibers from the downed buildings.
The devastating effects of mesothelioma can be hard on a family. There comes a time when there must be support in a lawsuit against those responsible for bringing asbestos exposure to a loved one.
A negligence lawsuit must prove that an employer did nothing to prevent asbestos exposure to workers. If a lawsuit proves that there was a breach of duty by the responsible party, then the person with mesothelioma should be able to recover a substantial financial settlement.
No longer will a loved one ask “are certain people most likely to get mesothelioma?” but rather ask “how can my loved one recover compensation they deserve as a result of the negligence shown by a previous employer?” The answer starts in having an initial no-fee consultation with a team member fromPintas & Mullins Law Firm. Call us today at (800) 307-3113.