The sale of asbestos has been outlawed in many countries due to health concerns, and handling of asbestos is regulated by strict safety guidelines throughout the world. However, in many countries asbestos is in great demand as a cheap, easy to use and durable construction material, and there is therefore a wide market for it. This is especially true in the Middle East, where many are still unaware of the health risk involved with asbestos and do not know what is Mesothelioma. Even in well to do countries such as the UAE, local demand is great. Unfortunatly, so is local supply: Asbestos was widely used in construction in the past- recent reports have estimated that between 70% to 90% of all residential structures in Dubai contain some form of asbestos. Throughout Dubai, as old structures are demolished to make way for the new, eager residents attempt to buy the dismantled old asbestos panels. Moreover, there is also apparently a sizeable black market trading in asbestos panels.
Lack of awareness of the Mesothelioma disease and of the various Malignant Mesothelioma Types is accompanied by a lack of knowledge on the cancer’s prevention and Mesothelioma treatment options. This confounds the measures taken by the UAE authorities to limit asbestos exposure and to prevent the disease. By cintrast, high profile lawsuits by Mesothelioma victims in the United States and other countries has raised public awareness and driven companies and individuals to act more responsibly.
Symptoms of Mesothelioma included shortness of breath, chest wall pain, and weight loss, and diagnosis can be checked using a CT scan or chest X-ray, and can be confirmed with a biopsy. It is often difficult to pinpoint the cause or origin of the disease because it can take anywhere between 20 and 50 years to appear after such exposure.
Lawsuits against asbestos manufacturers have been appearing since 1929. Since then, the liability from such court cases has reached billions of dollars for not providing a safe working environment even after the links between prolonged asbestos exposure and Mesothelioma have been confirmed.
Today an overwhelming number of Mesothelioma cases have been from members of navies and people that work in shipyards, as asbestos is still used for shipbuilding for its heat resisting capabilities. The family of US Navy sailor Gerald Gary was awarded $1.2 million in a lawsuit after Gary died at age 75 following 20 years of service building Navy vessels. Apparently the Navy did nothing to prevent its workers from inhaling large amounts of asbestos fibers every working day.
Some good news for sufferers is that treatment for Mesothelioma is 75% successful. It involves conventional cancer therapies using radiation and chemotherapy. Surgery by itself has been less successful.