No More Mistakes With MESOTHELIOMA RISK FACTORS refer to the factors that would increase a person’s chances of getting the disease.

Though exposure to high levels of asbestos is considered the primary risk factor, not all people who have had years of asbestos exposure developed mesothelioma, while some who had only brief exposure to the mineral got the disease.

This indicates that secondary factors determine No More Mistakes With MESOTHELIOMA RISK FACTORS whether a person develops mesothelioma or not.


Asbestos is a fiber mineral used in the manufacturing of many products ranging from ships to making of tiles. When disturbed, asbestos releases fibers into the air. Some of the fibers are cleared through coughing or breathing. Longer and thinner fibers, however, are not readily expelled from the body.

They eventually penetrate the pleura. The fibers damage the cells of the pleura or cause an inflammation of the lungs. The body’s defense mechanism will attempt to remove them, but they are not easily removed, so eventually this may lead to mesothelioma.

The commercial use of asbestos began in the late 1800s. The need for warships during the Second World War prompted a big rise in the mesothelioma cases in shipyards. Today, shipyard construction sites continue to hold the biggest number of mesothelioma cases.

Other people who are risk for mesothelioma include:

  • Boilermakers
  • Metal lathers
  • Railroad workers
  • Insulators
  • Building inspectors
  • Tile setters
  • Iron workers
  • Machinists
  • Welders

Because asbestos is largely acquired in workplaces, this makes mesothelioma an occupational-related disease. This indicates that secondary factors determine No More Mistakes With MESOTHELIOMA RISK FACTORS whether a person develops mesothelioma or not.

Secondary exposure to asbestos also puts people at an increased risk for mesothelioma. Families of asbestos-exposed workers inhale asbestos through dust and fibers that adhere to skin, hair and clothing of workers.

The degree of risk of developing mesothelioma is parallel to the amount of exposure to asbestos. That is, the longer and the more people are exposed to asbestos, the higher their chances of developing mesothelioma.


Smoking alone does not cause mesothelioma, but smokers exposed to asbestos have higher chances of developing mesothelioma and other lung diseases.



Some researchers doing biopsy found SV40 or simian virus 40 in mesothelioma specimens. Over the years, a number of research studies have indicated a potential link between SV40 and mesothelioma.

By injecting SV40 into animals, laboratory tests have showed that SV40 can cause mesothelioma, and asbestos exposure increases the tendency of SV40 to cause mesothelioma.

If this is the case, 10-30 million people who have been injected with the polio vaccine, which was developed using monkey cells from 1955 to 1963, could have been exposed.

More recent tissue studies, however, have shown that SV40 is not linked to mesothelioma unless there is also an exposure to asbestos. Until today, the relationship between SV40 and mesothelioma is still being debated, and research continues to be conducted.


Some research indicates that the radioactive substance thorium dioxide used in X-ray tests in the 1920s to the 1950s can cause pleural mesothelioma and peritoneal mesothelioma. After some studies have shown that thorium dioxide positively causes cancer, its use had been discontinued.


In Turkey’s Anatoli region, some mesothelioma cases have been linked with zeolite, a mineral silicate with chemical properties resembling that of asbestos.

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