Mesothelioma and asbestos in Dubai, UAE and GCC

Mesothelioma (or, more precisely, malignant mesothelioma) is a rare form of cancer of the pleural and peritoneal lining. It is usually caused by exposure to asbestos; almost every known instance of mesothelioma has been caused by previous exposure to asbestos. Unlike lung cancer, there seems to be no association between mesothelioma and tobacco smoking, but smoking greatly increases the risk of other asbestos-induced cancers.

Even though Dubai and the UAE passed a law in 2006 banning the sale of sheets of asbestos, it is estimated that between 70 and 80 percent of homes in Dubai contain some asbestos (source: Khaleej Times). The material is found most commonly in asbesots building sheets, but has also been identified in asbestos water pipes, floor tiles and decorative wallpaper. For example now I’m writing from a local house, built in the 80s, there the roof has been made with asbestos.. luckily I’m gonna stay here few more hours..

Mesothelioma has a long latency period; symptoms of mesothelioma may not appear until between twenty and fifty years after exposure, and sometimes as long as 60 years. Many people who haven’t been in contact with asbestos for decades are now showing symptoms of this dreadful disease.

Mesothelioma cancers, lung cancers, asbestosis and other asbestos diseases, are caused because of inhalation of asbestos fibers. Most people who develop mesothelioma have worked in jobs where they were exposed to asbestos dust and fibers in other ways. Exposure to asbestos particles can cause mesothelioma even if the level of exposure is extremely low: it has been suggested that washing clothes of a family member who worked with asbestos increases their risk for developing mesothelioma. Unfortunately, because asbestos exposure is so widespread, it is impossible to compute the damage that even a small quantity can cause.

Asbestos seems to be still available on black market in Dubai: a report of the Khaleej Times said asbestos is readily available in Dubai, despite a government ban on the substance.

One of the biggest contributors to mesothelioma involves the negligence of asbestos manufacturers. Over the years, manufacturers continued using asbestos even after being informed of its harmful effects.

Materials that contain even 1% asbestos and are friable are considered to be regulated asbestos-containing materials (RACM).
Mesothelioma and asbestos in Dubai, UAE and GCC

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