When people think of mesothelioma, their thoughts usually turn to older men who were likely exposed to asbestos in construction, shipyards or other occupation locations. They might not think much about the people who were children with a parent who worked in one of those workplaces.
Second-hand asbestos exposure is a real risk for anyone who came into close contact with a person who worked around the substance. The asbestos fibers can cling to clothing, hair, skin and other surfaces. Once the person gets home, those fibers can become airborne as the person moves around the home.
Why is asbestos an issue for others in the home?
When the asbestos fibers are airborne, the others in the home can breathe them in. Those fibers can embed in the lungs, which will cause problems. Over time, the fiber causes irritation in the lungs. This can lead to scar tissue that’s formally known as asbestosis. Within that scar tissue, tumors can grow. These tumors are malignant mesothelioma.
Malignant mesothelioma is a rapidly spreading condition that can cause a quick death. Most people will live around a year after they’re diagnosed with this condition. The options for treatment are very limited and most people ultimately succumb to the disease. There are a fortunate few who beat it.
While the dangers of asbestos are well known and widely documented, it isn’t completely banned in the United States. This means that individuals may still have exposure, including secondhand exposure, to the mineral. Those people may find out decades down the road that they have mesothelioma because of that exposure. They can seek compensation for the financial devastation that comes with this condition.