We have all heard the implications and horrible diseases related to Asbestos exposure. The biggest of these diseases is cancer, more specifically, Mesothelioma. This is cancer of the mesothelium, which is the tissue that surrounds and protects most of the organs in the body. Often times, it is the lining of the lungs that gets harmed the most by Asbestos, and this is called Pleural Mesothelioma.
It has been proven that Asbestos exposure is the primary cause of Mesothelioma. In a majority of the cases, this occurs when Asbestos fibers are inhaled into the lungs. The tiny, needle-like fibers sit in the lungs and cause irritation and festering. Eventually, this leads to tumors in the lining of the lungs. It is believed that as little as one small exposure to Asbestos can lead to this condition up to 40 years after the fact. Considering that it takes such limited exposure to cause this horrific disease, advocacy groups are requesting that the Asbestos mineral be banned globally.
Asbestos is a mineral that is mined in various parts of the world. In developed countries, it is not used much anymore because of the potential hazards involved. However, many developing countries still import Asbestos regularly, because it is a cheap building material. In many places throughout the world, it is still used in roof shingles, insulation, and building compounds, as well as in break pads and even some household items.
The advocacy group National Asbestos Helpline (NAH), which originated in Britain, is requesting a worldwide ban on the product. In part, this is due to the fact that Great Britain has the highest number of Mesothelioma cases, per capita, in the world. In Great Britain, the huge housing boom happened in the 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s, which is when Asbestos was hugely popular as a product used to build housing structures. This has caused a huge amount of Asbestos exposure to people young and old. Thus, Mesothelioma has become a huge problem in this country.
Joining the fight to stop the use of Asbestos globally are the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization in America (ADAO) and the British Lung Foundation (BLF). The goal of these organizations is to get a minimum of one-thousand pictures and signatures of people who have been harmed by Asbestos exposure. These pictures and signatures, along with some stories, will be used to make a book that will give these horrible Asbestos related diseases a face. The hope is that this will have enough of an impact to shut down the production and use of Asbestos throughout the world. The fact is that thousands of people die each year from diseases related to Asbestos exposure, and the numbers continue to grow!