If you are one of the many Minnesota residents who has ever worked in the construction or industrial sectors, you know that there are many risks to face. In addition to the risk of injury, there may exist the danger of contracting a serious work-related illness. One of these is mesothelioma.
The mesothelium is the membrane lining that protects the body’s internal organs. WebMD.com explains that mesothelioma is a cancer of this lining. Exposure to asbestos is a primary factor known to be involved in the development of mesothelioma. Once prized for its heat- and chemical-resistant properties, asbestos was widely used in construction and industrial applications for many years. Anyone who worked with asbestos could have inhaled the microscopic fibers that now are known to become lodged in the lungs. Up to 75 percent of all cases of mesothelioma are believed to be associated with asbestos exposure. This even includes family members of people who were directly exposed at work.
It is not uncommon for cases of mesothelioma to be diagnosed 20 or even up to 50 years after the initial exposure. By this time, the disease has usually progressed quite far and the survival rate for a person with mesothelioma is low. Most mesothelioma occurs in the chest but can occur in the abdomen. This form of cancer is known to spread to other organs as well. Victims often die of respiratory failure or other complications.
You can learn more about mesothelioma and other workplace illnesses visit our Minnesota work-related illness website.