Because mesothelioma is aggressive and hard to diagnose, it is considered one of the most life-threatening forms of cancer. As a result, mesothelioma prevention is extremely important.

Since mesothelioma is caused by asbestos exposure, reducing exposure to asbestos is the best method of mesothelioma prevention. Unfortunately, this method of prevention may not be easy. To begin with, asbestos fibers are tiny and hard to see. In addition, asbestos exists in hundreds of consumer products.

Mesothelioma Prevention at Home

While government regulations now prevent asbestos from being used in most products, asbestos was used in almost every industry for many decades. In fact, asbestos was used to make construction materials and many household products. As a result, many homes may still contain materials and products made with asbestos, such as:

  • Joint compound
  • Roofing tar
  • Brake pads
  • Fireproofing
  • Pipes
  • Insulation
  • Countertops
  • Floor tiles
  • Textured wall and ceiling coatings
  • Ceiling tiles

Household materials and products that are intact, do not present any health hazards. However, if they are damaged, they should be removed immediately by a licensed abatement company. Unfortunately, there is no way to tell whether something contains asbestos just by looking at it. Therefore, mesothelioma prevention may require having suspicious items tested for asbestos.

Mesothelioma Prevention at Work

Mesothelioma prevention at work is important because most asbestos exposure takes place at work. Prevention starts with being aware of what workers are most at risk for asbestos exposure. These workers include:

  • Miners
  • Factory workers
  • Insulation manufacturers
  • Railroad workers
  • Ship builders
  • Gas mask manufacturers
  • Construction workers

Workers who have already been exposed to asbestos may be unable to prevent mesothelioma from developing. Unfortunately, mesothelioma has a long latency period and may develop 20 years or longer after asbestos exposure occurs. However, those who know they are at risk for mesothelioma can still prevent the disease from going untreated. By regularly visiting a doctor and getting physical exams, those who have already been exposed to asbestos can get an early-diagnosis if mesothelioma develops. 

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Published November 17, 2011 by