Could I Get Cancer Because of My Home’s Insulation?

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Mesothelioma rates are on the rise, and it may be due to loose-fill asbestos insulation. Researchers first discovered this phenomenon in Australia, but say that it could be a problem in the US as well, where loose-fill asbestos insulation was widely used in the past.

What Is Loose-Fill Asbestos Insulation?

Loose-fill is a type of insulation that contains asbestos. It was once popularly used in houses built worldwide, including the US. Here it was known as Zonolite. Researchers in the Australian study found that loose-fill asbestos insulation can break apart into dust as it ages. The scientists believe that loose-fill insulation in houses in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) could be responsible for a rise in mesothelioma cases in the area.

How Does Loose-Fill Asbestos Insulation Cause Mesothelioma Cancer?

Asbestos has long been linked with mesothelioma. Research has shown that when asbestos fibers are inhaled, they can become stuck in a person’s lungs. Once in the lungs, the fibers irritate the pleura, which are the cells in the lungs, and this can eventually lead to the person suffering mesothelioma. Therefore, if loose-fill asbestos insulation is breaking apart, it would enable the dust to fill homes. If the asbestos dust is filling homes, occupants would be forced to breathe in asbestos particles day after day, which could lead to them developing mesothelioma cancer.

The researchers in the Australian study described this recent jump in mesothelioma cases as one of the largest the ACT has seen. Prior to this surge of mesothelioma diagnoses, the ACT actually had lower rates of mesothelioma compared to the rest of Australia. According to the data in the study, due to the rise of mesothelioma cases in the ACT, rates of the disease in the area have nearly caught up the rates in the rest of the country.

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