When asbestos minerals are cut off, for example when mining or when removing asbestos insulation, dust will usually form. If this dust is inhaled or swallowed, then asbestos fibers will settle in the lungs or in the stomach, this deposition causes irritation that can cause mesothelioma. How the irritation then develops into mesothelioma is not clearly understood. It takes around 30 to 40 years or more to develop mesothelioma after a person is exposed to asbestos.
Most people who are exposed to asbestos for a long time tend not to develop mesothelioma. However, some people who experience short exposures actually develop disease. This shows that other factors may be involved in the development of mesothelioma in a person. For example, someone inherits a tendency to get cancer or some other condition so that it can increase the risk of getting mesothelioma.
Factors that can increase the risk of mesothelioma meaning include:
- Ever or often exposed to asbestos. If you have been exposed to asbestos fibers directly at work or at home, then the risk of mesothelioma will increase.
- Live with someone who works in an asbestos environment. People exposed to asbestos can bring fiber home to their skin and clothing. Exposure to these fibers for years can put his family at risk for mesothelioma. People who work with high levels of asbestos can reduce the risk of carrying asbestos fibers to their homes by showering and changing clothes before they return from work.
- A monkey virus used in the polio vaccine. Several studies have shown a link between mesothelioma and simian 40 virus (SV40), a virus that was initially found in monkeys. Millions of people may have been affected by SV40 when they received polio vaccination between 1955 and 1963 because this vaccine was developed using monkey cells. After it was discovered that SV40 was related to certain cancers, the virus was removed from the polio vaccine. Whether SV40 can increase the risk of mesothelioma or not is still a debate, and further research is still needed.