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Mesothelioma is a very aggressive cancer. With astonishing speed, it attacks the protective linings that cover vital internal organs (this lining is called the mesothelium). When mesothelioma develops in the lungs, it is also known as pleural mesothelioma. There is no cure for mesothelioma and treatment for the disease and the long-term care usually required is extremely expensive.

It is well-known that: • mesothelioma’s overwhelming cause is exposure to asbestos; and, • there are many years, and often even decades between the exposure to asbestos and the development of the mesothelioma cancer.

Asbestos is a cheap, abundant mineral used in a wide array of everyday products (although used less today than in the past, the reason asbestos is used at all is because of its durability, flexibility and exceptional ability to insulate against fire and extreme heat).

Scientists do not fully understand how asbestos causes mesothelioma. The most common theory is that the tiny dust particles of asbestos are inhaled and get stuck in the lung tissues; then, after many years, they somehow disrupt the gene that helps to prevent cells from developing cancer. Another theory is that the asbestos dust trapped in the lungs cause the body to produce a protein that causes cancer growth.

Many many different products used over the years have contained asbestos. Men and women working as mechanics, construction workers, electricians, sheet metal workers, boilermakers, shipyard workers, and others have been exposed to asbestos. Tragically, the victims of asbestos extend even to members of their household. Husbands, wives, children, parents, anyone -- may also contract from asbestos particles that were brought into the home on the worker’s clothing.

Incredibly, many companies in the asbestos industry knew for decades about the dangers of asbestos but did not warn workers or recommend protective breathing equipment. Many of these companies intentionally hid the truth about asbestos so that they would not bear additional health and safety expenses.

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