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Asbestos Myth Awareness – Part Five – Asbestos Is Not the Only Cause of Mesothelioma

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MythAsbestos is not the only cause of mesothelioma – it can be caused by many other factors.

Fact – Studies show that at least 90% of mesothelioma cases are directly attributable to asbestos exposure.

Fact – Even when the disease is not directly traceable to an asbestos exposure event, that doesn’t mean that asbestos wasn’t a factor, it may just mean you need to closely examine your history of where you lived, where you worked and where family members may have been exposed to asbestos and brought it home causing second hand exposure.

Fact – Mesothelioma can be caused by second-hand exposure from loved ones that brought asbestos fibers home with them, so mesothelioma victims may not initially think they were exposed to asbestos when, in fact, they were.

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Fact – Asbestos fibers are still present in many public buildings including hospitals, schools and government buildings, yet are invisible to the naked eye so mesothelioma victims may not be aware they have been exposed to asbestos.

Fact – There are two other known substances that may contribute to a very small number of mesothelioma cases – thorium dioxide (Thorotrast), a chemical used in the 1950s in some x-rays and in nuclear fuels, and erionite (Zeolite fiber) a mineral found in Turkey.

Fact – Thorium dioxide and erionite are very uncommon and are unlikely to be the cause of your mesothelioma. Erionite has only been linked to mesothelioma cases in Turkey, never in America.

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FactSmoking does not cause and has not been linked to mesothelioma, but if you were exposed to asbestos and also smoked, your odds of developing lung cancer are significantly increased.

Fact – If you had a polio vaccine that contained the SV40 virus, a simian virus present in some rhesus monkey kidney cells that were used to create the vaccines, and were also exposed to asbestos, your risk of developing mesothelioma may be greater.

Fact – If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, the truth is that it is statistically most likely to have been caused by asbestos either from you being directly exposed on the job, in your home or another environmental event or via second-hand exposure.


Helping asbestos victims has been our sole focus since our founding in 1995. We have won more than $600 million in settlements, handle more mesothelioma cases than any other law firm in the Pacific Northwest and have now expanded to help mesothelioma victims across the country.
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