West Coast Women: Watch Out for Asbestos Found in Nature

It may come as a shock but asbestos can be found naturally occurring outdoors and as you probably know, asbestos inhalation can lead to getting mesothelioma.

This sounds totally crazy but it’s real deal science and the community is noticing an uptick in women getting mesothelioma due to what’s known as Environmental Asbestos Exposure.

Environmental Asbestos Exposure is the exposure to natural deposits of fibrous minerals found in various regions around the world. With a mixture of erosion and winds, the asbestos filled fibers become airborne and when inhaled are deadly.

Why the Focus on Women?

Men have always had the highest levels of exposure to asbestos do to occupation. During the period when it was legal these companies were harvesting the naturally occurring asbestos and using it in a multitude of ways, which lowered the levels in nature.

Now that asbestos has been outlawed it is once again seeing a prevalence in nature and resulted in an uptick in Environmental Asbestos Exposure.

Epidemiologist Francine Baumann of the University of New Caledonia recently performed a study focusing on women and young people in regard to this type of exposure:

In countries where asbestos is no longer used by the industry, and where there are other fibrous minerals present in the natural environment, I think that the proportion of environmental causes of exposure is very likely increasing, and that the proportion of female and young mesothelioma cases is also very likely to rise,” Baumann told Asbestos.com.

She also said in regards to the West Coast:

The [U.S. Geological Survey] recently updated their maps of asbestos and other fibrous deposits, showing that the soil of California and other western states contain large deposits of these minerals,

You can read more about her study at the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health.

Asbestos Quiz:

  1. Did you know that California ranks 1 for asbestos related deaths in the United States?
  2. Were you aware that California houses some of the biggest deposits of naturally occurring asbestos in the world?