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Is mesothelioma caused by exposure to asbestos?

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Quick Answer

Asbestos exposure causes mesothelioma, according to the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance. Asbestos fibers are inhaled through the nose and mouth and can become embedded in the lining of the lungs, which harms the pleura and results in mesothelioma.

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Full Answer

Occupational asbestos exposure is the general cause of mesothelioma, but environmental exposure is also a possibility. A family member of someone who works with asbestos can also be affected by secondhand exposure from asbestos remnants on work clothing. Insulation installers were at the highest risk of contracting mesothelioma due to their exposure to asbestos fibers, notes the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance. The material was once used liberally in industrial products.

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