Malignant Mesothelioma Causes
Malignant mesothelioma is a type of cancer that forms in the mesothelium, a tissue that surrounds some our internal organs. Learning about mesothelioma causes is an important step in protecting your rights if you or a loved one suffers from this disease. Our law firm is nationally acclaimed for helping mesothelioma victims hold responsible parties accountable for causing this life-changing condition.
Mesothelioma Causes: The Altering of Genetic Information
Just like all cancers, mesothelioma causes originate with the altering of genes, strands of DNA responsible for our hereditary traits and for making proteins in our body. Genes are also important in controlling cell growth and reproduction. When particular genes are damaged, uncontrollable cell growth is caused in two ways:
- The cell stops producing a protein that is capable of ending cell division, or
- It produces too many proteins, causing a continuous cell division
The continuous growth of unwanted cells is what leads to cancer.
Mesothelioma Causes Include the Fibrous Mineral Asbestos
Of all mesothelioma causes, the most prominent is the long-term exposure to asbestos, a microscopic fiber that, when inhaled or ingested, can penetrate the mesothelium, the tissue lining of our organs. This damage the cell’s DNA. Asbestos can damage the mesothelium of different organs:
- The lungs, leading to pleural mesothelioma
- The heart, leading to pericardial mesothelioma
- The abdominal cavity, leading to peritoneal mesothelioma
- The testes, leading to testicular mesothelioma
The most common of these types is pleural mesothelioma.
Other potential causes of mesothelioma include:
- Zeolites, a mineral with a similar chemical composition as asbestos
- Radiation due to other cancer treatments
- SV40 virus (Although it has not been confirmed, in certain lab studies, researchers have found that this virus can alter genes associated with cancer.)
Where Can Someone be Exposed to Asbestos, the Leading Cause of Mesothelioma?
Asbestos is a material largely used for electrical and housing insulation and fireproofing. Hence, it fills many houses and businesses. Most asbestos products are not harmful unless its particles are released into the air. Exposure generally occurs in the following places:
- In the workplace: Asbestos miners, carpenters, firefighters, and many others are at a high risk of exposure as they are in direct contact with the material.
- At home: Those who work directly with the material may carry asbestos particles on their clothes or in their hair, causing secondhand exposure to those who live with them.
- In the environment. This occurs when asbestos fibers are released into the air during mining or natural disasters. There have been some cases of asbestos-caused mesothelioma reported in people living near asbestos mines or near areas with high quantities of asbestos in the soil.
The risk of asbestos-caused mesothelioma is significantly increased when a person is exposed to high concentrations of asbestos for prolonged periods of time. A limited exposure may not be harmful.
If you or a loved one have been exposed to one of the mesothelioma causes and developed this disease, Nemeroff Law Firm will fight for your right to fair compensation. Call or complete our Contact Form today and schedule a free case evaluation. We proudly serve mesothelioma victims and their families nationwide.