Currently in North America, asbestos exposure is believed to be the only known cause of mesothelioma. No other causes have definitively been linked to the disease as yet. Mesothelioma victims either worked directly with asbestos-laden products in their occupation; worked in an environment such as a shipyard, textile industry, other industrial environments or worked as pipefitters, welders, papermakers, asbestos product manufacturer’s and where asbestos exposure is likely; or they lived with someone who carried asbestos fibers into the home on their work clothing.
While many are aware of the dangers posed by the widespread use of asbestos in American industries during the 20th century and the exposure risk for workers, few people realize the dangers of secondary exposure to bystanders and those who are exposed in the home to the harmful asbestos dust from the their family who worked in or around asbestos dust.
Even the simple act of taking the family car to work, sweeping the laundry room floor or bringing contaminated work clothes home to be washed can expose family members, friends and others to asbestos. Secondary exposure poses the same risks as primary exposure, including asbestos lung cancer and mesothelioma.