Asbestos is indeed a proven cause of cancer. However, there are still many who are completely unaware of this fact. The question as to whether or not asbestos causes cancer, has generally not been approached, raised or discussed in social forums often enough to gain traction in the greater public conscience. The reasons behind this seemingly lingering lack of information are wide and varied and have been the cause of much speculation. Some of the reasons offered that explain the lack of knowledge in this respect are the fact that – following wide-sweeping, international, legislative intervention preventing the use of asbestos as a material – the topic has been confined to history books and subsequently, the back of the minds of many, who think it is not really an ongoing concern that could affect them. Then there is the ongoing debate about tobacco, its relation to cancer and the legislation governing it. The widespread political and corporate spillover that serves to deservedly gain greater news headlines worldwide has also resulted in a diversion of the social conscience. Such a diversion further depletes the concern of asbestos as a cancer-causing threat. Be that as it may, despite the fact that the willingness of the public to pay attention to this topic may have waned, the reality is that this is a subject that is just as relevant today as it was decades ago.
Technically, asbestos has been proven to have carcinogenic properties and has therefore been classified as a known human carcinogen. This means that it is a known cause of cancer recognized by a wide array of highly reputable public entities such as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Environmental Protection agency (EPA), and the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Substantial research and studies have proven that exposure to asbestos increases the likelihood of the occurrence of lung cancer and mesotheliom. Mesotheliom is a rarer type of cancer that affects the thin membranes that line the abdomen and chest. While relatively rare, mesothelioma is the most common form of cancer resulting from asbestos exposure. In addition to lung cancer and mesothelioma, further studies have suggested a correlation between asbestos exposure and gastrointestinal as well as colorectal cancers. Furthermore, there are also suggestions an increased risk of cancers of the throat, kidney, esophagus, and gallbladder could exist. However, evidence proving a link with regard to these cancers is so far, inconclusive.
Taking the above into account, it’s clear that the significance of the link between asbestos and cancer cannot and should not wane in the public eye. It is a topic worthy of exposure that is just as relevant today as it was years ago.