What Is Mesothelioma?

Definition of cancer

Cancer. The word alone strikes fear into everyone’s heart. But some forms of cancer can be worse than others.


Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive form of cancer that is found in the lining that protects the lungs, abdomen, and heart. The protective lining around these organs in the body is known as the mesothelium, which is where cancer gets its name from.

The only known cause of mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos.

Mesothelioma cancer types are categorized by the organ tissue they affect. So, if  you inhaled airborne asbestos fibers and they lodged in your lungs or chest cavity causing cancer, this is called “Pleural mesothelioma.” If it affected the lining of your abdomen, it is “Peritoneal mesothelioma.” And asbestos-related cancer affecting the lining protecting the heart is called “Pericardial mesothelioma.”

A Little About Asbestos

As mentioned above, asbestos is the only known cause for mesothelioma. However, asbestos is not a single mineral. The word “asbestos” is a commercial and legal term that refers to a group of silicate minerals – not just one mineral. All of the minerals referred to as “asbestos” share the same fibrous nature.

Legally, the U.S. government recognizes 6 types of asbestos that fall into 2 general categories as set out in the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA). Those categories are:

  • Serpentine asbestos (Chrysotile), and
  • Amphibole asbestos (Crocidolite, amosite, anthophyllite, tremolite, actinolite).

Where is Asbestos Found?

Although the use of asbestos is highly regulated, it is not banned in the United States. It is currently legal to use asbestos in products as long as the amount used is less than 1%. But that is now. Before the regulations came into effect in the 1970s, a number of commercial products contained high-percentages of asbestos, and some products today still contain asbestos.

For example, CHRYSOTILE (white asbestos) is the most commonly used form of asbestos. It can be found today in the roofs, ceilings, walls, and floors of homes and businesses. Manufacturers also used chrysotile asbestos in automobile brake linings, gaskets and boiler seals, and insulation for pipes, ducts, and appliances.

AMOSITE (brown asbestos) was most often used in the construction industry. It can be found in cement sheets and pipe insulation. It can also be found in insulating boards, ceiling tiles, and thermal insulation products.

ANTHOPHYLLITE was used also used in insulation products and construction materials.

Because the asbestos fibers are microscopic, it is easy for a person to inhale or swallow asbestos dust without realizing it. And, because it can take 20-50 years for asbestos-related symptoms to show up, most mesothelioma cases diagnosed in the U.S. today were caused by exposure to asbestos before the 1970s regulations came into effect.

Here to Help You

At the Day Law Group, our clients are more than just cases to us: they are people who need our help. Unlike the big, out-of-state mesothelioma firms you see advertised on T.V., we are a small, local, Louisiana law firm. Our lawyers handle your case personally with compassion and dedication, and we care about you and your family.  We offer free consultations and we do not get paid unless you win your caseContact us ToDay or call (225) 465-1232.

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