When Heather, a graceful, generous, and empowered survivor of mesothelioma, asked if I could spread the word by simply writing a post about this rare cancer caused by asbestos, I was glad to do my small part.
Some quick info from mesothelioma.com:
- Asbestos is the leading cause of mesothelioma, used for decades in a number of applications including building insulation and siding
- While asbestos is banned in 60 countries worldwide, it is not entirely banned and is still used in the US
- According to the EPA, over 700,000 schools and buildings contain asbestos insulation
- On average after diagnosis of mesothelioma, patients are usually given 10 months to live
- The average number of mesothelioma-related deaths each in in the US is 2,500
- Mesothelioma has a latency period of anywhere from 15 to 50 years, so it's estimated that 20 million people in the US alone are at risk for developing mesothelioma at some point in their lives
I was a bit surprised when I was told that there was asbestos in my kids' elementary school - "somewhere down below in some pipes where children never go" is what was I was told at a small parent group meeting. Why wasn't it put in the school handbook and student information packet, I wondered... Perhaps I should be reassured that children would not be deliberately put at risk.