Asbestos - Have You Been Exposed?


The folks at and Mesothelioma contacted me to ask me to give you a heads up about mesothelioma, an environmental cancer.

If you are like me, when you hear “asbestos” and “mesothelioma”, you think of those TV commercials for lawyers asking you to call them if you know have been exposed. Why all those ads?

There are 30 billion dollars (that’s billions, not millions) in trust funds put aside by companies that either manufactured or used asbestos-containing materials to care for victims of asbestos exposure. That’s a lot of incentive for lawyers!

FULL DISCLOSURE: Both of these sites are owned and run by lawyers. I have received no compensation for publishing these links. I have checked both of these sites out and they seem offer high quality information and resources. I am posting these links for information purposes only. I would like to hear from readers if you are ever solicited by the lawyers that run them. That is not how we roll here at Maverick Health.

On page 79 of my book I write: “We are only beginning to understand the extent to which toxins (or poisons) in our environment are increasing the occurrence of cancers. Substances like pesticides, herbicides, asbestos, arsenic, nickel, nuclear waste, and industrial emissions have all been implicated in causing cancer.”

My advice? If you think you are at risk – read this, contact your health provider, and check out these links: and Mesothelioma before your call a lawyer.


Malignant mesothelioma is a form of asbestos cancer that affects the thin tissue layer surrounding the body’s internal organs, called the mesothelium. The most common areas for this type of cancer to develop are in the chest cavity (pleura) and the abdominal cavity (peritoneum). Mesothelioma is almost exclusively caused by asbestos exposure.

Where is Asbestos?

Asbestos was extensively used in the construction industry for both commercial and residential building. The material was valued very highly, mainly because of its durable and fire-resistant properties. These qualities made asbestos the perfect choice for a number of things, but mainly insulation. Almost all homes built during or prior to the 1980s were constructed using one or more asbestos-containing construction materials. A home may have asbestos-containing materials if it was remodeled during this time as well.

What’s the Danger?

The material is safe if left undisturbed, but once it is damaged or deteriorated it releases tiny asbestos fibers into the air which can then be easily inhaled or ingested. The shape of these fibers reacts negatively with human tissue and biological processes. Once the fibers are inhaled they become lodged in the tissues of the linings of organs, most commonly the lungs and digestive system. Over time, the lodged fibers cause inflammation and cellular damage, possibly leading to asbestos cancer.

Is it Still Around?

Today, the use of asbestos in the United States is more regulated, but most U.S. residents are under the impression that asbestos was banned in the late-1980s. The Environmental Protection Agency tried to enforce a ban in 1989, but the ban was thrown out by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in 1991.

Who is at Risk?

Most diagnosed mesothelioma cases caused by asbestos can be traced back to military or occupational exposure. Aside from the military, the most common occupations affected by asbestos include firefighters, electricians and auto mechanics. Firefighters and electricians are most commonly exposed to asbestos in the homes they enter, whereas auto mechanics may be exposed by working with asbestos-containing products like brake pads. Secondhand exposure is also a danger for families of those who worked with asbestos. The fibers can become attached to clothing and brought home to the worker’s family.

Is There a Cure for Mesothelioma?

Regrettably, successful treatment of mesothelioma is not very common. That’s because mesothelioma has an abnormally long latency period. On average it takes anywhere from 25 to 50 years for visible symptoms to occur. The early symptoms are often very similar to those of less serious illnesses and may sometimes go unchecked until they become severe. Because of this, mesothelioma is not usually diagnosed until its later stages when treatment options become more limited.

Treatment options like surgical removal of the affected area, for example, are more likely to be safe the younger the person is. Because of the long latency period, however, most people don’t know they have mesothelioma until they are too old to survive a procedure like that.

Remember, mesothelioma is most treatable when caught early so if you are aware that you have been exposed to asbestos at any point in your life, it is important that you let your health provider know so that you can be monitored for any asbestos related illnesses.

Let’s get this poison banned and off the planet!

This information is offered for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, prescribe or treat. For that please seek direct care from a health professional.

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