Reducing your exposure to asbestos may lower your risk of mesothelioma.
Find out whether you work with asbestos
Most people with mesothelioma were exposed to the asbestos fibers at work. Workers who may encounter asbestos fibers include:
- Factory workers
- Insulation manufacturers
- Ship builders
- Construction workers
- Auto mechanics
Ask your employer whether you have a risk of asbestos exposure on the job.
Follow your employer's safety regulations
Follow all safety precautions in your workplace, such as wearing protective equipment. You may also be required to shower and change out of your work clothes before taking a lunch break or going home. Talk to your doctor about other precautions you can take to protect yourself from asbestos exposure.
Be safe around asbestos in your home
Older homes and buildings may contain asbestos. In many cases, it's more dangerous to remove the asbestos than it is to leave it intact. Breaking up asbestos may cause fibers to become airborne, where they can be inhaled. Consult experts trained to detect asbestos in your home. These experts may test the air in your home to determine whether the asbestos is a risk to your health. Don't attempt to remove asbestos from your home — hire a qualified expert. The Environmental Protection Agency offers advice on its website for dealing with asbestos in the home.
Oct. 24, 2012
- Malignant pleural mesothelioma. Fort Washington, Pa.: National Comprehensive Cancer Network. http://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/f_guidelines.asp. Accessed Aug, 30, 2012.
- Abeloff MD, et al. Abeloff's Clinical Oncology. 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-4/0/1709/0.html. Accessed Aug. 30, 2012.
- Mason RJ, et al. Murray and Nadel's Textbook of Respiratory Medicine. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/192068760-2/0/1288/0.html. Accessed Aug. 30, 2012.
- Chekol SS, et al. Malignant mesothelioma of the tunica vaginalis testis: Diagnostic studies and differential diagnosis. Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine. 2012;136:113.
- Mirarabshahii P, et al. Diffuse malignant peritoneal mesothelioma: An update on treatment. Cancer Treatment Reviews. 2012;38:605.
- Kamal AH, et al. Dyspnea review for the palliative care professional: Treatment goals and therapeutic options. Palliative Care Review. 2012;15:106.
- Malignant mesothelioma treatment (PDQ). National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/malignantmesothelioma/patient. Accessed Aug. 30, 2012.
- Frequently asked questions about cancer, simian virus 40 (SV40) and polio vaccine. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/updates/archive/polio_and_cancer.htm. Accessed Aug. 30, 2012.
- Rosenow EC (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Sept. 11, 2012.
- OSHA Fact Sheet: Asbestos. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/asbestos/hazards.html. Accessed Aug. 30, 2012.
- Asbestos: Basic information. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. http://www.epa.gov/asbestos/pubs/help.html. Accessed Aug. 30, 2012.
You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.