Pleural Mesothelioma Causes identified asbestos as the main culprit, exposure to it in workplace, school or even residences! Each year, approximately 2,000 to 3,000 people are diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma, which affects the outer lining of the lungs. While the disease is considered rare, diagnoses have increased in recent years and account for about 70 percent of all cases. The most established cause of pleural mesothelioma is asbestos, a highly toxic mineral that causes tumors and breathing troubles when inhaled or ingested.
About 70 to 80 percent of all Pleural Mesothelioma Causes can be traced to asbestos exposure. The majority of these individuals came into contact with asbestos through their occupation, especially industrial laborers who worked in the 20th century. Naturally, people most at risk for asbestos exposure are those who worked directly with the substance or who milled, transported, or manufactured it into commercial products.
Others who likely came into contact with asbestos include electricians, plumbers, pipefitters, boilermakers, and workers at steel plants, refineries, shipyards, power plants, paper mills, and construction sites. Mesothelioma can also be found in individuals who did not work directly with asbestos but lived or worked in buildings that contained high levels of the toxic substance. It can even be found in the family members of occupationally exposed workers, given that the fibers can cling to clothing and hair.
There are a few additional suspected Pleural Mesothelioma Causes, but these are much less common or conclusively proven than asbestos. Exposure to Thorotrast (thorium dioxide), a radioactive material that was once commonly used during the administration of x-rays, has been shown in some cases to lead to pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma. Similarly, zeolite – a silicate mineral with many similarities to asbestos – has also been blamed for mesothelioma cases, particularly in a region of Turkey where it occurs naturally in the soil.
Emerging research has also linked mesothelioma to simian virus 40, a component of polio vaccines which may have been given to between 10 and 30 million people in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Traces of the DNA of this virus have been found during some mesothelioma biopsies, although this is not conclusively evidence of a connection between the two.
Lastly, cigarette smoking, while not a direct cause of mesothelioma, may make asbestos workers and other high-risk individuals even more susceptible. Anyone who has worked with asbestos-containing materials and who uses tobacco is strongly urged to quit as soon as possible.