Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a cancer of the cells of the membranes (known as Mesothelial cells) which cover most of our internal organs. It is most commonly caused by exposure to asbestos, with symptoms appearing anywhere between 20-60 years after the initial exposure.

The NHS estimates that around 2,000 people per year are diagnosed with Mesothelioma and it is often fatal because it is usually not diagnosed until it is at an advanced stage.


Is Mesothelioma lung cancer?

Asbestos can cause Asbestos-related lung cancer which is similar to the more commonly known smoking-related lung cancers which affect the inner parts of the lungs. However, Mesothelioma affects the cells in the membranes (called the Mesothelial cells) that surround our body's internal organs, including the lungs.

Because asbestos exposure is through fibres and dust in the air, Mesothelioma often appears as a cancer of this membrane around the lungs, as well as the membranes surrounding the lower part of the digestive tract.


What is Asbestosis?

Mesothelioma

Asbestosis is different to Mesothelioma and is also linked to the long-term exposure to asbestos. As a disease, Asbestosis appears as an extreme scarring of the lungs and many sufferers experience a severe shortness of breath. In more serious cases, the disease can be fatal.

We now know that all asbestos-related diseases can be prevented by testing for asbestos at work-sites and taking appropriate safety precautions when working with or removing asbestos.


Can you test for asbestos?

The best prevention for Mesothelioma and Asbestosis is to take precautions today. Testing for asbestos can be done and should be carried out before any remodeling or demolition work is carried out. By knowing where asbestos is, workers can take precautions to make sure it isn't disturbed, or trained experts are called in to safely remove and dispose of the asbestos.

Currently, the only way to test for the presence of asbestos containing materials requires samples to be sent to a lab for analysis, which can take several days. ALERT will not negate this need for laboratory testing, but what it offers is an immediate waning device that will help prevent tradespeople from continuing to work unaware that they have disturbed asbestos.


Asbestos Location Equipment in Real-Time (ALERT)

Asbestos Alert

The Alert asbestos test device is being manufactured by The Select Group as a portable detection system to give workers a rapid assessment of their working atmosphere with the ambition of launching the first model in early 2014.

ALERT can immediately warn of the airborne presence of the asbestos fibres that cause diseases like Mesothelioma in a similar way to a very sophisticated smoke alarm. While it won’t prevent asbestos exposure, it can help to minimise the risks of continued unintentional exposure by warning of the presence of asbestos fibres.

Armed with this knowledge, contractors can protect themselves, secure the area and call the professionals. To find out more about ALERT and how it could help you, contact us for further information.

British Lung Foundation

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