Jan 10 2005
I’ve been quite interested in mesothelioma since about 2002…
So, you’re not sure what this very syllabic word is all about?
Well, you may want to learn about it. A Google search for Mesothelioma, often referred to as Mesothel or misspelled as Mesothelomia… returns about 7.6 million results. Yes, that mysterious and complex word has more Google results than a search for homeopathic. Yes, the latter is an equally complex word, but I would think that more folks are familiar with homeopathy than mesothelioma.
So, why so much on the net about mesothel?
Well, it turns out that mesothelioma is the medical term for a prevalent type of asbestos cancer – and one which has resulted in much legal action, including class action lawsuits as well as many related individual litigation cases.
Also interesting is that there are a plethora of websites that provide affiliate links to lawyers or law firms that are providing advice and recruiting clients seeking compensation.
According to the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation :
In the U.S., 2,500 to 4,000 patients are diagnosed with mesothelioma annually. But mesothelioma has yet to find the national spotlight for research and funding. The lack of concern may come from the mistaken belief that the problem will soon go away, since asbestos use in the U.S. was substantially curtailed in the 1970’s. But mesothelioma’s latency period is 15-50 years, so asbestos exposure from the 1970’s or earlier may lead to mesothelioma for another two decades. Furthermore, the risk of exposure continues today in many occupational settings, and in buildings such as homes, offices and schools, in which asbestos was previously used or installed and remains present. Thus experts predict mesothelioma incidence in the U.S. will continue to increase for another 10 to 20 years.
The tragedy of 9/11 demonstrates the continued, long-term threat of mesothelioma. Estimates of the amount of asbestos destroyed in the terrorist attack in Manhattan range as high as 1,000 tons. The impact pulverized this asbestos into tiny, microscopic fibers to which the firefighters, rescue workers and other heroes of 9/11 were exposed, as well as workers, residents and school children who returned to the area in the weeks and months following. After mesothelioma’s long latency period, the risk of cancer among those most heavily exposed could reach as high as one in ten.
Interestingly enough, an old childhood friend from highschool had a father who passed away from asbestos cancer. His dad worked in asbestos mines in Italy for years and years back when OSHA and workplace safety were inexistant for all practical purposes.
It’s ironic how we deal with health issues when money becomes an issue – and not when it is a pure case of life or death.