Mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer that attacks the mesothelium in the body. Mesothelium is the double lining that surrounds almost all of the organs in the body. The mesothelium produces a fluid that sits between the layers to protect the organs.
Asbestos has been linked to Mesothelioma and several other cancers. Asbestos exposure increases the risks of developing these cancers. Most studies have been associated with people who have worked in or around Asbestos mines. Traditionally, Asbestos has also been used as a building material. Builders, contractors, and other people in these professions are at higher risk of having been exposed to Asbestos.
Asbestos is a naturally occurring silicate mineral that is found in many places all over the world. In recent studies done in the Dayao area in China, it was found that farmers and land developers who worked in areas where asbestos occurred naturally in the soil, and the soil was disturbed, rates of Mesothelioma and other Asbestos related cancers were significantly increased.
In areas where Asbestos was outcropped or disturbed due to digging, mortality rates were significantly increased due to Mesothelioma, lung cancer, laryngeal cancer, nasopharyngeal cancer, and intestinal cancer. All of these cancers are associated with Asbestos exposure.
In areas where Asbestos was present in the ground, but undisturbed, Chinese scientists found that the rates of these Asbestos related cancers were significantly decreased. The researchers concluded that exposure from naturally occurring Asbestos that has been disturbed significantly increases the likelihood of these cancers and increases mortality rates.
According to the CDC’s Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry, there are many places throughout the United States that have naturally occurring Asbestos. These places include many Eastern states, most of California, and several locations throughout the Northwest. Naturally occurring Asbestos has also been found in road gravel in North Dakota, as well as many places in Alaska. Libby Montana, home of the Libby vermiculite mine, has been linked with a high number of Mesothelioma and other Asbestos related cancers.
Many people throughout the world are aware of the potential of Asbestos exposure from older buildings and other constructed sites. However, most people do not think about whether or not Asbestos is naturally occurring in the environment. Do some research regarding the dirt and soil in the neighborhood. Many companies offer Asbestos testing for buildings. Soil can usually be tested at the local University. Many home and garden centres can give consumers lists of places to have soil tested.