New Breathalyser Could Help Detect Mesothelioma

Asbestos is a mineral that has been commonly used throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. The asbestos mineral is extremely resilient and heat/fireproof, making it an ideal candidate for manufacturing and building products. The use of asbestos in homes, schools, and in industries such as automotive industry put many people at risk. A large group of people who were affected by the use of asbestos were working class men. These men worked in jobs such as being a mechanic, construction worker,industrial worker, power plant worker,  and shipyard worker.     Although asbestos exposure has been lessened in these job fields, there are still many way in which you can be exposed to asbestos today. For example, a home do it yourself project could go terribly wrong if you drill into the wrong wall and release the asbestos fibers from your insulation into the air in you home.     When someone is exposed to airborne asbestos, they are at risk for a multitude of diseases. One of the most lethal is malignant mesothelioma, a deadly cancer that forms after repeated asbestos exposure.     To be able to detect malignant mesothelioma sooner and give the patients a better chance at beating this cancer, Owlstone Medical is working on developing a disease breathalyser device. They are pairing with a North American building trade union and the Asbestos Workers organization to develop this device.     James McCourt, the union’s general president, had this to say about the device, “The population of those who have been exposed to asbestos and are at risk of having existing early-stage disease or developing malignant mesothelioma later in their lives includes a substantial portion of our membership.” With this device, these people who are affected by malignant mesothelioma will be able to detect it earlier and receive more effective treatment.

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