Pleural mesothelioma is a cancer that develops in the tissue lining the chest cavity and the lungs. It is the most common type of mesothelioma, making up about 75 percent of the cases. Although there is no cure for this often fatal disease, patients do have treatment options to help extend their lives and limit their pain and suffering.
What is the main cause of pleural mesothelioma?
The only known cause of pleural mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos, which many people unfortunately have come across in their everyday lives. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration warns that asbestos can be found in common industrial and household building materials such as:
- Thermal system insulation
- Roofing and siding shingles
- Vinyl floor tiles
- Plaster, cement, putty and caulk
- Ceiling tiles and spray-on coatings
- Industrial pipe wrapping
- Heat-resistant textiles
- Automotive brakes and clutches
People who work in certain occupations — particularly industrial workers, construction workers, mechanics and veterans — face greater risks of developing pleural mesothelioma due to their increased exposure to asbestos. However, pleural mesothelioma has also been diagnosed in those with limited asbestos exposure, such as family members who come into contact with microscopic asbestos fibers transferred from loved ones’ clothes or uniforms.
Although the U.S. government has recognized since 1918 that asbestos posed a health risk to workers, the fight to completely ban asbestos has not yet been won. The deadly material can still be found throughout New York City, New York State and the Tri-state area.