Secondhand Asbestos Exposure Causes Mesothelioma In Swindon Woman

A woman who had never been directly exposed to asbestos, but who may have come into contact with it in her own home, has died from the asbestos cancer, mesothelioma. Linda Sinnett, 58, was diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer which affects the membrane that lines and protects the abdominal cavity.
Most cases of mesothelioma affect the lungs and chest cavity, but most forms of the cancer can usually be traced back to exposure to asbestos, a fibrous mineral which has frequently been incorporated into building materials and insulation products. Many cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed in individuals who have been exposed to asbestos the workplace. It has also been known affect their loved ones as well, as a result of secondhand exposure. When the microscopic asbestos fibers are disturbed, they become airborne and can be either inhaled or ingested. They can also cling to clothing, hair and other material, meaning that they can be transported from one location to another. Sinnett’s family assumes that she ingested the asbestos fibers after her father, Ronald, who was a carpenter for the Great Western Railway Works, brought asbestos home on his overalls. The laundry room where Sinnett’s mother would wash the overalls and other clothes was adjacent to the kitchen. It is believed that the fibers contaminated the food and food preparation areas. Sinnett was survived by a husband, John, 57, and their daughter, Kerry Mills, 38. Asbestos is no longer used as extensively as it once was, although it does remain in use in limited capacities. It is also still in place in a number of older buildings and structures. It  can potentially pose a hazard to anyone who works with or around the material without using the proper safety gear, such as protective clothing and respirators. Mesothelioma is a rare disease in that it can take up to 30-40 years to fully manifest. Even then, the symptoms often resemble those of more common respiratory ailments, and are therefore often ignored or misdiagnosed. By the time an accurate diagnosis is usually made, the mesothelioma has progressed to a late stage and is usually inoperable. Although there is no cure for mesothelioma, palliative treatment, designed to comfort the patient and relieve painful symptoms, is available, most commonly in the form of chemotherapy or radiation therapy.