It was 3rd Quarter of the last century (1960) when an article was published describing a rare form of cancer arose by asbestos exposure. At that time, the researcher suggested that about 30 people were victims of Mesothelioma in South Africa. Most of people among victims were mine workers. As per record, the first documented victim of this disease (1962) was an Australian who had been working in ABESTOS mine for about 10 years.
At that time, Wittenoom (an Australian village) was populated with the workers who were engaged in the activities of producing Asbestos containing building products which were widely used in the construction of educational and public buildings.
Another article that was published in British Medical Journal alarmed the common men by telling them that most of the people living in that village were the victims of this disease although they were not the mill workers.
But the mine owners did not pay any specific attention to these articles and the mine had been remained in operation for 20 years without taking any prior safety measures. In 1970, the health hazardous effects of asbestos became known to everyone and the people began to fight and protest for their rights.
“Asbestos Diseases Society” was an early effort in this regard that made legal actions against the owners and authorities who ignored the people health and safety.
Asbestos mining continued as a mineral at large scale especially in World War-2 due to which thousands of people became victim of Mesothelioma without knowing that either they are victims or not. There were a considerable numbers of persons that were victims of this disease in USA in the last decade of 1950. Later on, it was detected by researchers that countless workers in mills, shipyards and in building projects related to asbestos by any means had been seriously affected by Mesothelioma.
So in response of these horrible figures, rules and regulations for prevention of asbestos exposure were made by the “Occupational Safety and Health Administration”. The limits for asbestos exposure dose per person allowed in a month, working in areas where asbestos is found in considerable amount, were also set in. Industries and building companies were asked to adopt special measure and tool/equipments to prevent their workers from direct exposure to asbestos.
Now, many researchers have a strong belief that asbestos is the major and main factor for promoting tumors and is responsible for the growth of cancerous materials in lungs, heart, abdomen and testicles. It is also a well established fact that only the persons working in asbestos atmosphere are not the expected “Mesothelioma Patient” but the others may also be the patient of this fatal disease due to contaminated water or food items containing the fractions of asbestos.
Some authorities are still in doubt that asbestos causes Mesothelioma. On the other hand, the medicinal and doctoral community is quite clear that asbestos is the major cause of this disease.
However, it is very difficult to provide exact numbers of casualties occurring worldwide having Mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure because the symptoms of it take a long time to be appear after direct exposure to asbestos.
What is MESOTHELIOMA?
Wikipedia defines , ”Mesothelioma, more precisely malignant Mesothelioma, is a rare form of cancer that develops from the protective lining that covers many of the body's internal organs, the Mesothelioma. It is usually caused by exposure to asbestos.”
Abestos.Com defines,”Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that can arise in the mesothelial lining of the lungs, heart or abdomen. Some cases have even been reported to develop in the lining of the testicles as well. These four types of Mesothelioma are called Pleural Mesothelioma (lung), Pericardial Mesothelioma (heart), Peritoneal Mesothelioma (abdomen) and Testicular Mesothelioma.”
Babylon defines,” Membranous tissue which originated in the embryonic mesoderm and covers internal and external organs (Anatomy); membranous lining of the embryonic body cavity (Embryology).”
Concise Oxford Dictionary defines,” cancer of mesothelial tissue, often associated with exposure to asbestos’.
What is ASBESTOS?
According to Wikipedia,” Asbestos (from Greek word meaning "unquenchable" or "inextinguishable") is a set of six naturally occurring silicate minerals exploited commercially for their desirable physical properties. They all have in common their asbesti form habit, long, (1:20) thin fibrous crystals. The inhalation of asbestos fibers can cause serious illnesses, including malignant lung cancer, Mesothelioma (a formerly rare cancer strongly associated with exposure to asbestos and fiber glass.), and asbestosis (a type of pneumoconiosis). The European Union has banned all use of asbestos and extraction, manufacture and processing of asbestos products. “
According to Dictionary.com
1. Mineralogy. A fibrous mineral, either amphibole or chrysotile, formerly used for making incombustible or fireproof articles.
2. A fabric woven from asbestos fibers, formerly used for theater curtains, firefighters' gloves, etc.
3. Theater. A fireproof curtain.
According to Word Net,” a fibrous amphibole; used for making fireproof articles; inhaling fibers can cause asbestosis or lung cancer.”
Types of Mesothelioma:
Five known types of Mesothelioma are divided into two sections; four are malignant cancers and the fifth is non-cancerous condition called benign Mesothelioma.
When a person inhales the considerable amount of asbestos exceeding to the set limits, it affects the throat ,lungs, abdomen, heart and testicles causing following types of Mesothelioma respectively,
Pleural Mesothelioma: Pleural is the “lining of lungs” and this type of Mesothelioma damages this lining. About 75% patients are victims of this type and we can say that it is the most common type of this disease.
Peritoneal Mesothelioma: 20 % cases of Mesothelioma belong to this category. Peritoneal means” lining of abdominal cavity”. So it is the cancer that affects the lininig of abdomen.
Pericardial Mesothelioma: The word Pericardial is derived from Pericardium meaning “lining of the heart”. Only 5 % patients are suffered by this type of Mesothelioma.
Testicular Mesothelioma: Patients suffering from this type of cancer are found rare. This type of Mesothelioma damages the lining of Tunica Virginals of the testicles.
It takes long time to appear the symptoms of Mesothelioma after primary exposure to asbestos. This period may expand to 20-50 years. Initially, its symptoms are very minimal and non-serious, making the diagnosis process more difficult for physicians. However, with the passage of time its symptoms become obvious but very serious at the same time for both patients and doctors to handle and control with. Some common symptoms and related cancers are given bellow,
1. If someone feels shortness of breath, chest pain or experiences persistent cough and fatigue, there are the strong chances of developing Pleural Mesothelioma in the lungs lining. Moreover, the lumps under the chest are also a strong indication of this type of cancer.
2. If someone is consistently losing weight with abdominal pain/swelling, nausea or bowl obstruction, the occurrence of Peritoneal Mesothelioma is evident.
3. If someone feels irregular heartbeat, chest pain, difficulty in breathing or abnormal heart palpitations, there may be the development of Pericardial Mesothelioma.
4. If someone experiences the pain in testicles or there is an evidence of painless lumps in the tactical area, Testicular Mesothelioma is expected.
If there is the risk of Mesothelioma in any part of the body, a through medical checkup is the necessary initial step.
Physicians begins the diagnosis process for Mesothelioma by recording the complete patient`s medical history. The complete medical checkup is done. If he finds symptoms of this type of asbestos related cancer, he advices to do some physical tests to assure that he is on right path to diagnose the disease. These tests consist of commonly Imaging Scans like,
ü CT Scan
ü PET Scan
ü MRI Scan
A competent physician can easily conclude the results with the above said tests. If the cancer is more evident, the samples of fluids and tissues are taken for final confirmation and diagnosis that is named biopsy.
Treatment s for Mesothelioma:
When the cancer is finally diagnosed and confirmed, a set of different medical treatments is available to proceed further, including Radiations, Chemotherapy and surgery. The combination of these therapies and treatments is called multimodality therapy which makes the treatment more aggressive and effective. Some experimental therapies are also carried out including immunotherapy, photodynamic therapy and gene therapy, but these are at initial stage and there results are not so satisfactory up to date.
Legal Issues Related To Mesothelioma:
As described in the history of the Mesothelioma, millions of people died due to this deadly cancer in 20th century without knowing that asbestos was the main factor of their disease and then death.
At that time no laws, regulations and penalties were established to prevent Mesothelioma or to pay compensation to the people experiencing the Mesothelioma due to negligence of company owners and authorities responsible to prevent people from exposure to asbestos.
Now, there exist very effective and strong laws for preventing Mesothelioma and the companies whose products contain asbestos are liable to protect their workers and all other stallholders from Mesothelioma, providing necessary protective tools and equipments and information to their workers. If any company fails to do so, then it would be liable to pay a heavy compensation to the effected persons.
The bodies of all well known and reputed Mobiles, Laptops, Pc`s, iPads , iPods , iPhones are now being made by the Bio-grade Plastics that are free from asbestos reducing the risk of Mesothelioma and are known as “ Environment Friendly & Green Mobiles”.
Similarly all big Toys Making Companies are also paying full attention to made their products asbestos free.
If someone does not care, he has to face full punishment for his deeds in the form of Paying Heavy Compensation to the effected persons.
Mesothelioma Laws are so much popular in lawyer’s community that the lawyers who are interested in such type of cases are called” Mesothelioma Lawyers “.
If , May God Never Do This-Amen, you or any of yours closest person is the victim of this disease and you strongly believe that it is due to the negligence of any other responsible persons or authorities then contact to “Mesothelioma Lawyers” . They will help you by attaining compensations for you in return of your massive expenses on treatment, your high degree pain and your social disturbances.