Mesothelioma Risk Factors

September 14, 2017
What are the risk factors for malignant mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma Risk FactorsThere are several risk factors that increase the likelihood that a person will develop mesothelioma. The primary risk factor is asbestos exposure. Exposure to this very harmful substance can significantly enhance the chances of contracting the disease. While smoking does not have a direct causal relationship with mesothelioma, it is a significant compounding factor that increases the likelihood of developing the disease. Other less common secondary factors include exposure to radiation, zeolite, simian virus 40 (SV40), and erionite. Each of these risk factors is discussed in more detail below. Please click on the individual links to learn more about each mesothelioma risk factor.

Most Common Mesothelioma Risk Factors

Exposure to Asbestos

Exposure to asbestos is the leading risk factor associated with mesothelioma. Asbestos is an insulating material comprised of magnesium-silicate mineral fibers. It was favored by builders and contractors for many years for its low heat conductivity and resistance to melting and burning. Since researchers have identified more and more links between mesothelioma and exposure to asbestos, the material is now less widely used. Prior to this discovery, however, millions of Americans have experienced serious exposure to this harmful substance.

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