Asbestos can be a hazard at home as well as at the workplace

A recent study says that mesothelioma risk is higher for those who live in houses with asbestos insulation.

Asbestos is a highly dangerous material that can cause mesothelioma and other types of deadly cancers. The Law Offices of James F. Humphreys & Associates have worked with many clients throughout West Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky who have been devastated to learn that they or their loved ones have become ill due to asbestos exposure. In many cases, mesothelioma victims work in industries that have a high risk of asbestos exposure, such as construction, mining, vehicle repair, and railroad workers. However, a recent study suggests that more focus needs to be paid to the risk of asbestos exposure in the home, particularly from contaminated insulating material that was widely used in residential properties in the 20th century.

A groundbreaking study

As mentioned above, most of the discussion surrounding asbestos exposure and mesothelioma focuses on workers who are at especially high risk. That focus makes sense because certain workers who are routinely exposed to asbestos are logically more likely to develop mesothelioma.

However, asbestos has been used as a building material not just in the workplace, but in homes as well, especially as an insulating material. Unfortunately, as Medical News Bulletin points out, there has been little research into the risk of mesothelioma among those who have lived in properties with asbestos. A team of researchers in Australia attempted to rectify this situation by analyzing rates of mesothelioma and other cancers among those who had lived in homes with loose-fill asbestos insulation. While the study focused exclusively on Australian residents, loose-fill asbestos was also widely used as an insulating material in homes throughout the United States during the 20th century.

Higher rates of mesothelioma

As Science Daily reports, the researchers found that there was indeed an increased risk of certain types of cancers for those living in contaminated homes. While the mesothelioma rate among women living in such homes was about the same as those living in uncontaminated homes, for men it was 2.5 times higher. The rates of colorectal cancer were also higher than expected in both men and women who lived in asbestos-contaminated homes, although researchers could not say with certainty whether that was due to asbestos exposure or with limitations of the study itself.

While the results showed that mesothelioma rates are higher in workplaces with high rates of asbestos exposure, it also shows that exposure to asbestos at home is still very unsafe.

Help for mesothelioma victims

No amount of asbestos exposure is safe. Sadly, because asbestos has been used so widely in both building materials and consumer goods, many people have been exposed to asbestos without even realizing it, which makes a mesothelioma diagnosis all the more shocking and painful. However, mesothelioma victims should know that help is available. The Law Offices of James F. Humphreys & Associates have a proven track record handling mesothelioma cases and they can help fight for the compensation their clients may ultimately be entitled to.