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Sunday, 1 April 2012

Second hand Asbestos exposure amongst women. Guest Blogger.

Hi every one! I have just arrived back from my week end away, so I have a lot to tell you, but I am a bit tired now, I thought that this may be a good opportunity to share the following information about Mesothelioma.

This is a piece written by my guest blogger, and is very interesting.


Second hand Asbestos Exposure among Women.

Serious illnesses caused by an inhalation of toxic asbestos fibers – lung cancer, mesothelioma cancer or asbestosis – are usually traced to an occupational exposure, and the majority of those who get these diseases are men.
Yet secondhand exposure – especially for women – can come in the most unusual places.

There are a number of women who can point to their husband's jobs, not to mention their husband's work clothes, as the source for their asbestos-related illness. These diseases are rare, afflicting only up to 3,000 new people a year in the United States, but stories of second hand exposure aren't unfamiliar any more.

Ruth Phillips, who now lives in Rome, Georgia, was diagnosed 12 years ago with peritoneal mesothelioma, a cancer in the lining of her abdomen. She believes it came from the asbestos at a Union Carbide processing plant where her father worked. Her dad often brought home household products.

Angela Winsor, from Lansing, Michigan, was diagnosed a year ago with pleural mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lungs. She isn't certain about her asbestos contact, but she surmises it came either from her father's job at a chemical company or from her one summer working there, too.

She said he could have come from her college dorm room, where she slept so close to the ceiling on an upper bunk bed. Older ceiling tiles are renowned for having asbestos in them.

Alexis Kidd, in Houston, Texas, another peritoneal mesothelioma survivor, received an earlier-than-normal diagnosis because she already was in the hospital for an unrelated illness when it was spotted. She only has theories about where her asbestos exposure came, possibly when she was teaching school. (Old schools often have asbestos-laden ceiling tiles and flooring, and ridding schools of asbestos can be prohibitively expensive for taxpayers.)

All three women are beating the odds for a cancer that normally has a grim prognosis. Kidd got married in 2011 to a longtime boyfriend, who took her last name as a way to honor her and her illness.

Winsor still manages her workforce development company, and stays even busier with her three children.

Phillips also continues her active lifestyle, rejecting chemotherapy and other conventional treatment in favor of alternative medicine.

Regardless, they are examples of secondhand asbestos exposure – something they had never heard of until it changed their lives. Secondhand exposure to asbestos is just as deadly as occupational or environmental exposure, and it speaks to how prevalent asbestos once was in America.

Although the use of asbestos in America is dramatically reduced in recent decades over what it was from the 1920s to the 1970s, any houses or buildings constructed before 1980 likely has some asbestos in it. As these materials age, the asbestos within them becomes brittle and more likely to be airborne.

It was used in thousands of different commercial, residential and consumer products. Although no asbestos is mined in the United States today, more than 1,100 tons of it was imported.

As a naturally-occurring mineral, asbestos remains coveted for its heat-resistance, tensile strength and versatility. It is common in roofing material and certain types of concrete, though at much smaller levels than it once was.

It can take anywhere from 10 to 50 years after an exposure to asbestos for symptoms of mesothelioma lung cancer to become obvious. Too often the early symptoms are mistaken for those of less-serious illnesses, which detection and diagnosis rare and successful treatment even more rare.

That also helps why some women who experience secondhand exposure might not be able to make the connection between disease and exposure. Who would think someone could get sick by being diligent about doing the laundry?

(The next bit is not part of the guest blog, I have just added it as an example ).

I have chosen to add this 'Map of Industrial Disease of England and Wales.
to show that the issue is not just an American one.


Carol said...

Ericka wrote: "That was very interesting to read Carol...please pass on my thanks to your guest blogger. I knew about Mesothelioma althought I didn't know that women or others could get it secondhand but it makes sense after reading this blog. So sad that there are probably lots of people out there with it who would never know until it's too late. Thank you for sharing this Carol. *Hugs*"

This is a comment that I received on facebook.

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