It has long been known that mesothelioma, asbestosis and asbestos related lung cancer are all caused by exposure to asbestos. It’s been suspected for hundreds of years and was made clear by the Environmental Protection Agency in the 1970s. Since that time, the companies accused of negligently exposing their employees to the hazardous material and causing their illnesses have tried defending themselves in myriad ways, including by asserting that the chrysotile type of asbestos that was frequently used in construction settings is not dangerous and does not cause mesothelioma. But now a study conducted by researchers at Boston’s Massachusetts General Hospital has contradicted that claim. The scientists found that chrysotile asbestos does indeed cause mesothelioma and is no safer than any other variety of the mineral.
This most recent mesothelioma study was published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine. The research involved a close examination of the medical records and legal documents for 62 patients diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma. What was discovered was that of the 51 men and 11 women involved, 26 percent had only been exposed to chrysotile asbestos. As if that wasn’t enough, of the group of mesothelioma victims who had not been exposed to asbestos by having actually worked with the material, and who had instead been exposed in a secondary way, half had been sickened by this supposedly “safe” type of asbestos.
Chrysotile asbestos was most commonly used in the construction of residential and commercial buildings prior to the 1980s. It was a component of roof and ceiling tiles, floors and drywall. These materials are frequently a cause of concern when older buildings are undergoing renovations or demolition. They have also been blamed for the second-hand exposure that is often suffered by the spouses and family members of construction workers who installed the material on the job, then carried asbestos dust home on their clothing.
Understanding the science behind mesothelioma is just one of the ways that mesothelioma attorneys set themselves apart and ensure that their clients are well represented. If you or someone you love has been affected by an asbestos-related disease, contact us today to learn more about how we can help. We can be reached at 1-800-966-2244.