Is asbestos a carcinogen?



  1. 0 Votes

    Yes.  The type of cancer most frequently associated with asbestos is mesothelioma, which is a form of cancer that affects the lining of the lungs.  Lung cancer is also commonly seen in people who have been exposed to asbestos.

    Asbestos consists of many tiny fibers bunched together, and when fragments of these fibers break away, they can be inhaled by individuals and enter into the lungs.  Once inside the body, asbestos fibers can irritate the tissue of the lungs (or their lining), which causes inflamation, scarring, and, over time, the uncontrolled proliferation of cells (cancer).  There is also some evidence that asbestos fibers can actually effect the part of a cell’s DNA that controls reproduction, thus allowing for uncontrolled multiplication.

    Because the cancer caused by asbestos exposure often takes a few decades to develop, it can be difficult to form a definite link between the exposure and the cancer.  However, it is clear that the rate of cancer among individuals who were consistently exposed to asbestos over a long period of time is much higher than it is among those who were not.  The more one is exposed to asbestos, the higher their risk of developing cancer.  Thus, the most vulnerable are those who worked with it directly, either in asbestos mines, or in construction.

  2. 0 Votes

    Yes, asbestos is a carcinogen.  It differs from typical carcinogens, however.  It does not induce gene mutations, but it is a known to cause mesotheliomas and bronchogenic carcinomas.  It should be stated that it can also cause mutations of the chromosomes.  

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