Who is Most at Risk for Mesothelioma?
People who work around asbestos are considered to have the greatest risk of coming down with mesothelioma. Although asbestos is still used in some industries, the federal government limits the amount of asbestos fibers to which workers may be exposed and sets rules to protect them.
Risk goes up
Mesothelioma risk goes up for people who are exposed to high levels of asbestos, people who are exposed to asbestos over a long period of time and people who are exposed to asbestos at a young age.
The family members of workers exposed to asbestos may also be at risk of mesothelioma, since asbestos dust can be brought home on their clothes. These days, people who work around asbestos are required to shower and change clothes before going home, in order to protect their families.
The unpredictable nature of mesothelioma
Some people exposed to asbestos for years never develop mesothelioma, and only about 5% of the people with the highest exposure to asbestos will get the disease. But others who were exposed to asbestos briefly have been known to develop mesothelioma, which indicates the involvement of other factors. For instance, a person might inherit a predisposition to cancer or some other condition that would increase his risk. Family history may predispose some people to mesothelioma, but more research is needed to be sure about this.
Some of the type of workers who may be most affected by mesothelioma and asbestos exposure include:
• Bricklayers • Miners
• Building inspectors • Navy veterans
• Construction workers • Oil refinery workers
• Drillers • Painters
• Drywall contractors • Plumbers
• Electricians • Power plant workers
• Grinders • Railyard workers
• Longshoremen • Roofers
• Maintenance personnel • Sandblasters
• Maritime workers • Sheet metal workers
• Mechanics • Shipyard workers
• Merchant marines • Tile contractors
• Millwrights • Welders