Understanding Causes of Mesothelioma

Causes of Mesothelioma

Fundamentally, the causes of mesothelioma are due to prolonged exposure to asbestos, a fiber created from minerals that are toxic to humans. These fibers are unable to be broken down and eliminated like other substances are generally processed by the body and as a result, accumulate in the lungs inner tissues. Once enough asbestos fibers become embedded into the lungs, the body starts to negatively react to them by initiating a series of biological changes almost always leading to mesothelioma, a form of lung cancer that may take up to 40 years to manifest itself by producing tumors within the lung’s mesothelial tissues.

Initial stages of mesothelioma begin when mesothelial cells become inflamed by microscopic asbestos fibers piercing the tissues made of these cells. The normal behavior of cells is disrupted which inevitably results in changes to the DNA of the cells, a precursor condition to cancer. In addition, asbestos fibers stimulate free radical production. Free radicals are destructive molecules that also harm genetic material and provokes mutations enhancing the generation of cancer cells. In addition, asbestos exposure triggers formulation of oncoproteins. These proteins actually encourage mesothelial cells to disregard cell reproduction restraints which allows them to develop into cancerous cells and tumors.

Before the 1980′s, asbestos was found in numerous manufacturing industries and their products which allowed millions of employees to be exposed to its carcinogenic fibers. Some of these items that once contained asbestos and may have caused mesothelioma include automobile parts; attic insulation; electrical wire; HVAC duct insulation; pipe covering; floor tiles; boilers; siding; boilers; roofing shingles; pumps; valves and fireproofing materials. Asbestos was widely utilized because of its durability and affordability. For this reason, companies were reluctant to replace it with some other material and allowed workers to continue being exposed, knowing it was toxic. Asbestos has only recently been named as the primary causes of mesothelioma because of its long latency period.

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