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How Does Someone Get Mesothelioma?

One of the most common questions asked by people diagnosed with or affected by mesothelioma is "How does someone get mesothelioma?" The most common cause of mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos.


Asbestos exposure is usually due to working directly with asbestos-laden products, working in an environment with a high risk of asbestos exposure or living with someone who carried asbestos fibers into the home on his or her work clothes.

Asbestos is the term for six different, naturally occurring mineral fibers:

  • Chrysotile

  • Anthophyllite

  • Grunerite (amosite)

  • Riebeckite (crocidolite)

  • Tremolite

  • Actinolite


Because these fibers can separate so easily into fibers hundreds of times thinner than human hair, they can easily invade the lungs. Over time, usually decades, these fibers collect, leading to serious illness such as mesothelioma.

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