Asbestos and Mesothelioma are foreign terms for many people but unfortunately asbestos exposure is a prevalent as ever. It’s not hard to see, as a quick “Google News” search will bring up hundreds of results, many of which are recent, in which asbestos negligence is abundant.

Government regulations help but are not assisting in public awareness as many civilians are clueless to the dangers. Mesothelioma is the cancer that results from exposure and while mesothelioma treatment has improved, it is still one of the most fatal cancers around even if rare.

In St. Paul, Minnesota researchers recently met for an update on research into the cause of lung disease among iron ore miners.  They had allocated nearly $5 million to study various aspects as to why so many men in northeaster Minnesota were getting mesothelioma at a rate double what is normal. It will take up to five years for a firm conclusion but they are studying iron ore samples and dust in the air in Iron Range communities.

Perhaps the most baffling and oddly amusing story as of late for those who are against the Scientology movement, was word that their cruise ship had knowing been contaminated with asbestos  for 20 years. This cruise ship was where they brought the Scientology elite and those who were climbing the ranks. Among those on the ship were actor Tom Cruise, who of course has been scrutinized for his religious affiliation.

A real tragedy in the asbestos exposure mess has been the amount of military veterans who have been infected with mesothelioma. Particularly on Navy Ships and Submarines, asbestos entered the ventilation systems and thousands of military personnel were exposed.  Breathing asbestos particles can result in a form of lung cancer called pleural mesothelioma.

It is these types of incidents that need to be eliminated. While government restrictions have helped, many public buildings have asbestos, which is perfectly fine as long as it’s contained. In situations like Hurricane Katrina and the World Trade Center collapse, thousands of people are endangered.

The bottom line is that if you suspect you’ve been exposed consult your doctors. Mesothelioma may not appear up to 20-50 years after exposure so it’s best to educate yourself and be aware of the dangers.

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