Asbestos exposure is a known risk for those in the construction and mining industries. However, a new study out of Australia is suggesting that even just having loose-filled asbestos (vermiculite insulation) in your home can increase the risk of mesothelioma.
According to researchers at The Australian National University, men in homes with loose-fill asbestos were 2.5 times as likely to develop mesothelioma. It is estimated that millions of homes in the U.S. have vermiculite insulation in ceilings, walls and attics.
We recently wrote about all of the places asbestos may be in the home.
Research points to danger of asbestos insulation
While the medical community has long known the risk of asbestos exposure, the study is the first to point to an increased risk of asbestos for people living in homes with vermiculite insulation. For the study, researchers looked at over one million people who lived in the Australia between 1983 and 2013. Australia, like the U.S. and Canada, used asbestos in home construction ubiquitously throughout the 20th century.
By analyzing the rate of mesothelioma diagnosis compared to homeowners of loose-fill asbestos, researchers determined there was an increased risk of mesothelioma simply from having vermiculite insulation in the home. The good news is that the risk is still lower than those individuals who work in the construction, manufacturing and mining industries. Women did not have an increased risk. The study was recently published in The Lancet Public Health.
Any exposure to asbestos is dangerous – get professional removal
Asbestos causes cancer to develop when inhaled. It has been linked to mesothelioma, lung cancer, ovary cancer and larynx cancer. Before undertaking any remodeling project, it is vital that you first check for asbestos insulation throughout the home. If asbestos is found, it requires professional removal.