Researchers recently conducted a study on the risk of developing mesothelioma a full four decades after having been first exposed to asbestos. Unfortunately, the study showed that it is not possible to outlive the risk of mesothelioma because a long latency period does not diminish the toxicity of asbestos. In fact, there is no decline at all in the risk that mesothelioma will develop even after 40 years have passed since exposure occurred.
The long latency period of asbestos can make it more difficult for victims to recover compensation from those responsible for exposing them to this dangerous toxin. An experienced Boston mesothelioma lawyer should be consulted by those with asbestos-related health conditions for help understanding their legal options and pursuing a damage claim.
Mesothelioma Risk Never Goes Away
Researchers looked at the risk of mesothelioma among those exposed to asbestos at work, as well as among those who experienced second-hand exposure to asbestos fibers. The study was called “Mesothelioma Risk After 40 Years Since Exposure to Asbestos: A Pooled Analysis.”
Research revealed that 44 percent of cases of pleural mesothelioma and 54 percent of cases of peritoneal mesothelioma were diagnosed at least 40 years from the time of the first exposure. Many cases– 13.3 percent of pleural and 23.2 percent of peritoneal– were developed 50 years after the initial exposure. Most experts who have chronicled the latency period of asbestos exposure and symptoms have identified a latency period of between 20 and 40 years, so this study was one of the first to look at a longer time period to determine whether the patient could ever outlive the danger.
Authors concluded: “no one survives long enough for the excess risk to appear.” However, the risk of pleural mesothelioma appeared to increase at a slower pace after 45-years had passed since the initial exposure. The rate of peritoneal mesothelioma continued to increase over the 10 to 50 years since the initial exposure occurred.
Sources of asbestos exposure among participants in the study included an asbestos mill, an asbestos cement factory, and an amosite factory. Participants were also included who had been exposed to asbestos in railway stock and who had experienced environmental exposure. The types of asbestos that the participants were exposed to included chrysotile, crocidolite and amosite. The participants were drawn from six prior occupational group studies, as well as from an environmental study and a study of non-working wives exposed to asbestos through their spouses.
Unfortunately, the results are bad news for all who were exposed to asbestos in any form, since it made clear that a person exposed to asbestos can never be considered out of the woods when it comes to developing mesothelioma. Both individuals exposed during the 1960s and 1970s as well as those exposed more recently due to the collapse of the World Trade Center or due to work in remodeling or construction must come to terms with the fact that their risk is lifelong.
If you or a loved one is diagnosed with mesothelioma in Boston, call for a free and confidential appointment at (617) 777-7777.
More Blog Entries:
Boston Builders Fined by DEP for Failing to Safely Remove Asbestos, May 10, 2014, Boston Mesothelioma Lawyer Blog