It is more likely for a resident of Louisiana to be diagnosed with lung cancer than people in nearly every other state in the country. The last few decades have yielded a lot of claims into the causes, such as the chemical plants that steam along the lower Mississippi River Valley and the shipbreaking yards along the Gulf Coast.
One factor that has often been blamed for specific types of cancer is asbestos. The solid white substance has been a good insulator against flame for centuries, but the powder that comes off its surfaces has been correlated with an otherwise rare cancer called mesothelioma. This cancer occurs in the lining around the lungs, stomach or other thoracic organs.
Buildings no longer come equipped with asbestos insulation, but older buildings may still include it. Asbestos abatement or removal still occurs today, as some solid pieces were left in due to perceived low risk. Several buildings at a major Louisiana university require a total of $725,000 in asbestos-related maintenance.
Buildings are often underutilized when asbestos keeps places off limits. Exposure must be limited because chronic exposure to the fibers that come off of asbestos solids has been linked to mesothelioma.
“Asbestos fibers are invisible, so it’s hard to know if you’re being exposed,” said a health writer focusing on mesothelioma.
People who are facing a diagnosis of mesothelioma may require legal help as well as medical help. Financial damages from the parties who caused exposure to asbestos can help on the road to recovery. No one should deal with this serious medical problem alone.