Peritoneal Mesothelioma and Asbestos

Asbestos is a natural mineral that has been extensively used in construction and other industries due to its desirable physical properties. This material is made of long, flexible fibers that resist heat and corrosion. There are four main diseases caused by exposure to asbestos: lung cancer, mesothelioma, asbestosis, and diffuse pleural thickening. Significant exposure to this material increases the risk of pleural effusion, pleural plaques, and changes in pleura.

Types of Asbestos

This naturally-occurring mineral can be classified into six types: chrysotile (white asbestos), amosite (brown asbestos), crocidolite (blue asbestos), tremolite, anthophyllite, and actinolite. The last three types of asbestos were not often used industrially.

Chrysotile, or white asbestos, is made of curly fibers that can withstand high temperatures. This type of asbestos is resistant to alkaline attack and can absorb organic materials. Chrysotile accounts for over 95 percent of asbestos mined annually.

Amosite, or brown asbestos, was used in pipe insulation and cement sheet. This type of asbestos has distinctive shades of tan and brown. Like chrysotile, amosite is resistance to heat and has good tensile strength. This material is the second most dangerous form of asbestos after crocidolite. Amosite can be found in thermal insulation products.

Crocidolite, or blue asbestos, is responsible for the largest number of deaths among those who have worked with asbestos-containing products. This material has good tensile strength and flame-retardant properties. Blue asbestos was used in yarn and in preformed thermal insulation.

Asbestos Uses

Due to its fireproofing and insulating properties, asbestos was widely used in automotive parts, construction materials, floor tiles, ceiling tiles, cigarette filters, clutch pads, hot water pipes, and cement. The construction industry used asbestos in brick and block mortar, gaskets, corrugated paper, fire doors, and roofing shingles. The marine industry used this mineral to insulate boilers, nuclear reactors, and hot water pipes.

Asbestos can be found in everyday products such as baby powder, clay, fertilizers, iron rests, paint, and hair dryers. Artificial snow was made with asbestos. The effects of being exposed to asbestos take decades to show up. Most asbestos-related diseases manifest themselves 20 to 50 years after initial exposure to this mineral.

Health Risks Associated with Asbestos Exposure

Asbestos is recognized as a human carcinogen and its use is regulated by both EPA and OSHA. People who have been exposed to asbestos face a high risk of mesothelioma and lung cancer. Although rare, malignant mesothelioma is the most common disease associated with asbestos exposure. Those who have worked with asbestos-containing products may also develop cancers of the kidney, throat, gallbladder, and colon.

People are more likely to develop asbestos-related diseases when they are exposed to asbestos for long periods of time. Asbestos workers, as well as their families and those who live close to asbestos processing plants, are at high risk.

We can help you find the best mesothelioma doctors and receive appropriate treatment if you suffer from an asbestos-related disease. All you need to do is complete the form on this page for more details.