Asbestos exposure: The major risk factor for mesothelioma asbestos is a mineral that occurs naturally in the environment. Asbestos fibers are strong and resistant to heat, making them useful for a wide range of applications in insulation, brakes, shingles, flooring and many others.
When asbestos is broken, such as during the extraction and removal of asbestos insulation, dust can be created. If dust is inhaled or ingested, asbestos fibers are deposited in the lungs or stomach, where they can cause irritation, which can cause cancer, although how this happens is not understood. It can take 20-40 years or more to develop mesothelioma due to exposure to asbestos.
Some people with years of exposure to asbestos do not develop mesothelioma. However, some very brief exposure develop the disease. This indicates that other factors may be involved in determining whether someone is a mesothelioma or not working. For example, you may inherit a predisposition to cancer or other disease may increase the risk.
Possible risk factors
Personal history of asbestos. If you have been directly exposed to asbestos fibers at work or at home, your risk of mesothelioma is much higher.
Living with someone who worked with asbestos. People who are exposed to asbestos can take home the fibers of the skin and clothing. These loose fibers can put others in the house at the risk of mesothelioma. People who work with asbestos must shower and change clothes before leaving work.
Monkey virus used in polio vaccine. Some studies show that between mesothelioma and simian virus 40 (SV40), a virus originally found in monkeys. Millions of people have been exposed to SV40 receive polio vaccinations between 1955 and 1963, because the vaccine has been developed using monkey cells. When it was discovered that some cancers associated with SV40, the virus was removed from the polio vaccine. The SV40 increases the risk of mesothelioma is a point of debate and further research is needed.
Radiation. Some Links of radioactive thorium dioxide mesothelioma, which was used with X-rays to diagnose various health problems since the 1920's to 1950's. Mesothelioma has also been associated with radiation therapy to the chest, such as those used to treat breast cancer or lymphoma.