While most people are well aware of the deadly medical conditions often associated with asbestos exposure — including mesothelioma — many are surprised to learn that the risk of developing these conditions can last for years after exposure. In some cases, victims don’t even show symptoms of mesothelioma until decades later.
One recent study even discovered that the risk of mesothelioma might actually increase as more time passes following exposure. In fact, the study, which was titled “Mesothelioma continues to increase even 40 years after exposure – Evidence from long-term epidemiological observation” and published in the international cancer journal known as Lung Cancer, found that the risk of developing mesothelioma continues to increase even four decades after an individual is last exposed to asbestos.
When conducting this study, researchers examined the data of 131 pleural mesothelioma patients, which was gathered from 2000 to 2014. The analysis of this data shows that individuals last exposed to asbestos 40 years ago had a nearly three-fold higher risk of developing mesothelioma when compared to those who had last been exposed just five years ago.
In addition, the study found that those who worked with crocidolite and other types of asbestos had a five-fold higher risk when compared to those who worked solely with chrysotile asbestos, the most common form of asbestos.
The one thing this study make absolutely clear is that individuals who may have worked around asbestos remain at risk of developing mesothelioma decades later — particularly if they worked around crocidolite asbestos.