Monday, September 22, 2014

Mesothelioma Awareness

Recently, I read an article about a young woman (photo above) who was diagnosed with Mesothelioma. I don't know about you, but I always thought of it as a disease occurring in older adults. While statistically most people are diagnosed between age 50-70 the numbers for younger adults are on the rise due to second hand exposure either from parents or spouses. 

As I began to read the facts about Mesothelioma I was astounded. The only known cause is asbestos exposure. In 1989, the EPA issued a final rule banning most asbestos products. Unfortunately, in 1991, this regulation was overturned by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and few asbestos products remain banded.  This fact alone took my breath. If we know asbestos causes Mesothelioma and other cancers then why are we not working toward a total elimination of the products? 

Other staggering facts about Asbestos use:

~30 million pounds still being used in the United States today
~#1 cause of occupational  cancer
~This year 10,000 Americans will die of asbestos related disease and 200,000 people will be living with asbestos. 

~Asbestos is still found in many homes, schools, commercial, and industrial buildings. The EPA estimates there are asbestos containing materials in most of our 107,000 primary and secondary schools and 733,000 public and commercial buildings. 

Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer and most patients are given a ten month prognosis upon diagnosis. Mesothelioma commonly sits dormant in the body for 20-50 years after initial exposure. However, more and more young adults are being diagnosed.  It seems asbestos exposure could be best described as a ticking time bomb just waiting to ravage the body.  

I don't know about you, but I am not happy knowing virtually everyone is at risk because of the continued use of asbestos. There is a great need for both awareness to the problem and research to attain a solution, as well as cure.

Hoping and praying the more aware each of us becomes of the risk asbestos exposure the more willing we will become to be apart of the push for change. 

For more information and links: Heather's awareness page

 By HIS mercy and in the grip of HIS grace,

Andrea Bowling Perdue

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