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Who Is At A Greater Risk For Developing Mesothelioma
Everyone is exposed to asbestos at some time during their life. Low levels of asbestos are present in the air, water, and soil. However, most people do not become ill from their exposure.
By: Georage Clark
Since the late 1800s Asbestos has been mined and used commercially. The risks associated with asbestos exposure were not known initially. However,it was later found that shipyard workers, people who work in asbestos mines and mills, producers of asbestos products, workers in the heating and construction industries, drywall removers, firefighters and automobile workers had a greater risk of developing mesothelioma cancer.
People involved in the rescue, recovery, and cleanup at the site of the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center (WTC) in New York City are another group at risk of developing an asbestos-related disease. Because asbestos was used in the construction of the North Tower of the WTC, hence when the building was attacked, hundreds of tons of asbestos were released into the atmosphere. Others at risk include residents in close proximity to the WTC towers and those who attended schools nearby. These populations will need to be followed to determine the long-term health consequences of their exposure.
Now the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has set limits for acceptable levels of asbestos exposure in the workplace and people working with asbestos have to wear personal protective equipment to lower their risk of exposure.
There has been some evidence that family members and others living with asbestos workers also have an increased risk of developing mesothelioma, and possibly other asbestos-related diseases. It may be due to the exposure to asbestos dust brought home on the clothing and hair of asbestos workers. To reduce the chance of exposing family members to asbestos fibers, asbestos workers are usually required to shower and change their clothing before leaving the workplace.
Though the risk of asbestos-related disease increases with heavier exposure to asbestos and longer exposure time but it has been found that , some individuals with only brief exposures have developed mesothelioma. On the other hand, not all workers who are heavily exposed develop asbestos-related diseases.
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