Climate change is literally making it more difficult to breathe, especially for those with respiratory problems. Individuals diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma are especially vulnerable to climate change simply because this disease compromises lung functionality. Malignant mesothelioma is a disease related to asbestos exposure. More often than not those who develop mesothelioma were subjected to asbestos in the workplace or military.
Making Life More Difficult for Mesothelioma Patients
Most people assume those subjected to asbestos when working on ceilings, floor tile and insulation no longer faced heightened risk once the work came to an end. However, as climate change unfolds, it is becoming increasingly clear mesothelioma sufferers are also subject to breathing challenges simply because the planet is warming and becoming more polluted.
Air pollution makes the air around we inhale that much dirtier and difficult to breathe. Furthermore, scientists at Harvard University and the American Cancer Society report climate change is also increasing exposure to cancer-causing asbestos.
The Risk of Death From Malignant Mesothelioma is Rising
The number of natural disasters combined with the reduction in access to healthcare and the worsening of our air quality is elevating concerns for medical professionals who treat patients with mesothelioma. Countless buildings including homes across the globe contain asbestos materials. Though these materials pose minimal threat when intact and far away from human beings, they present challenges when exposed or damaged.
It merely takes a harsh storm to disturb asbestos materials, sending them into the air, ultimately compromising human health. This heightened exposure to asbestos will prove much more likely as climate change causes an increase in hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires and other natural disasters.
A Question of Access to Treatment
Aside from the increase in natural disasters and harsh storms occuring, there is also a looming problem stemming from the fact that cancer treatment centers are not as easily accessible to malignant mesothelioma patients during such dire situations. Those who cannot receive treatment for their malignant mesothelioma are that much more likely suffer a worsened condition and consequently, live a shorter life.
The academic research noted in the journal article mentioned below shows there is a 19% increase in the likelihood of cancer patients passing away amidst a hurricane simply because of interruptions in treatment regimens. In other words, climate change poses a significant indirect threat to malignant mesothelioma patients.
The Threat of Climate Change to Mesothelioma Patients has Scientific Backing
Scientists have quantified and fully explained the growing threat of climate change to malignant mesothelioma sufferers in a recent write-up published in the journal CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. The scientists who penned this piece insist there should be that much more attention paid to the role of climate change in the worsening status of malignant mesothelioma patients simply because it is having an unexpectedly significant impact.
Up until this point in time, the scientific community had overlooked the role of climate change in preventing and controlling cancer-causing diseases such as malignant mesothelioma. In fact, it is even possible for climate change to cause cancer. One need not look any further than Hurricane Harvey’s impact on the Houston community for evidence of climate change’s ability to spur cancer. This massive storm sent carcinogens directly into neighborhoods throughout the city, inevitably exposing millions of people to cancer-causing materials.
The Inhalation of Asbestos is More Likely Than Most Assume
The bottom line is the failure to obtain cancer care really can make the difference between life and death for a patient suffering from malignant mesothelioma. The moral of this story is climate change is not some futuristic threat that will only impact our grandchildren or their grandchildren. Rather, climate change is having a latent yet very real and significant impact on human beings alive today, especially those saddled with malignant mesothelioma.