Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer in which malignant (cancerous) cells are found in the mesothelium, a protective sac that covers most of the body's internal organs. Most people who develop mesothelioma have worked on jobs where they inhaled asbestos particles.
In his article called Knee Deep in Asbestos, freelance writer Phil Jones relates how when he was a teenager he worked for a brief time in an asbestos mine in the Yukon. One of the features of daily life was the constant presence of asbestos dust in the air. As Jones writes,
There were employees that worked in the mill whose sole job was to sweep up the dust that fell on the floor. There was so much of it that this was a constant ongoing job. The asbestos dust in the mill actually fell almost like snow and covered the floor completely. Without sweepers there would probably have been several inches of asbestos dust on the floor within an hour or so. In fact, I remember seeing sweepers go by pushing their wide brooms and the new dust settling onto the floor behind them as they walked.
This story illustrates a number of the more sinister aspects of the whole mesothelioma story.
First, over the course of many decades, countless workers were placed in work environments where they were exposed to high levels of asbestos fibre with little protection. Their exposure to asbestos fibres was constant and often took place over a very long period of time - in most cases, over many years.
Second, the owners and managers of these work places were often either unaware of the risk of mesothelioma, or they actively attempted to hide or cover up those risks.
Third, since the effects of exposure to asbestos fibre often do not become apparent for 30 or 40 years after prolonged exposure, there often appeared to be no immediate health risk in these work environments. This made it very difficult for workers or their representatives to make a convincing case that worker health was being sacrificed on the altar of corporate profit.
For more information about mesothelioma, the causes of mesothelioma, the effects of mesothelioma, and the legal courses of action open to mesothelioma victims, visit Mesothelioma Advisors.
Rick Hendershot is a writer and founder of the Linknet Publishing Network. To learn how you can benefit from original articles, and posted around the web, see our program called the Linknet Promote with Articles Program.