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Study: Mesothelioma risks increase with additional exposures

It has been known for decades that exposure to asbestos fibers can dramatically increase a person's chances of developing mesothelioma. This illness is devastating; it can take several years to diagnose and it is often very aggressive which means that sufferers get sick very quickly and can die soon after a diagnosis. While there are some treatments that may effectively ease the symptoms, there is no cure for mesothelioma.

Now a recent study is suggesting that a person's risk of developing mesothelioma increases when a person is exposed to both mesothelioma and an aluminum-silicate-based material called refractory ceramic fiber, or RCF.

According to a French study, researchers found that people who were exposed to both asbestos and RCF were about four times more likely to develop mesothelioma than those who have only been exposed to asbestos. They studied 988 mesothelioma victims and those who were only exposed to asbestos had an odds ratio of developing mesothelioma of 2.6, whereas those who were exposed to both fibers had a rate of 12.4.

Sadly, it would not be uncommon for people to be exposed to both materials. They are both used in sulation products and in dustrial environments. Asbestos is a natural fiber and RCF is manmade, but exposure to either of them can be seriously hazardous to a person's health. While RCF exposure may be more likely in European countries, this study should be a reminder to people in and around North Carolina that there are certain exposure sources that can increase a person's chances of developing a deadly disease.

Understanding all the sources of exposure and the potential failings of employers, manufacturers or other parties in regards to protecting people can be crucial in building a strong case for compensation. Additionally, knowing that an illness may be caused or exacerbated by asbestos in combination with other factors may be able to help people seek more effective treatments. 

Source: Surviving Mesothelioma, "Man-Made Fiber May Compound Mesothelioma Risk from Asbestos," July 20, 2014

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