Asbestos has been found to exist naturally in Nevada where it has led to increases Mesothelioma cases.
The naturally occurring, cancer causing mineral, asbestos has been found to exist naturally in Southern Nevada where carcinogenic mineral fibres including asbestos were discovered.
Asbestos is still mined around the world and its natural presence is often disturbed by erosion sending fibres into the air filling the landscape with asbestos. Asbestos fibres are long and thin meaning they can get easily lodges in the lung causing Mesothelioma.
55 countries worldwide have banned asbestos, but the United States and Canada are the only 2 industrial western nations not to have banned it.
When you think of asbestos it is usually thought to be connected to occupations linked to insulation, and demolition of old buildings but Malignant Mesothelioma has been found at a higher rate than expected within Nevada amongst the female demographic and those younger than 55 years of age. Mesothelioma is usually diagnosed in males as it is heavily linked to exposure to asbestos occupationally, and the tradesmen working in industrial roles.
There are a higher number of cases of Mesothelioma in places of industrial and occupational exposure as the exposure is likely to be increased. Diagnosis is on average 30-50 years from the exposure to the fibres and disease from occupational exposure is usually diagnosed in people around the age of 70. People younger than 55 are rarely diagnosed or associated with occupational exposure to asbestos.
Women and children can be exposed to asbestos as a result of fathers and husbands being exposed to asbestos at work the bringing it into the home attached to clothing.
There is no major asbestos industry in Southern Nevada so it is thought that the increased rates of Mesothelioma were due to the environmental exposure.
Epidemiologist Francine Bauman has conducted research finding an unusual amount of Mesothelioma amongst demographics that it is not usually linked to. This pattern observed by Bauman suggests that the high rate of asbestos related disease in Nevada amongst women and young people under the age of 55 is down to environmental exposure to asbestos coming at an early age.
The state has responded to the findings by shutting down Bauman’s access to the state cancer registry, and said they have conducted their own research and there is no danger. Nevada health department stopped Bauman from exposing her findings saying she had given too much weight to a few cancer cases and that her findings would scare people and residents in the area.