Who Is Really At Risk of Developing Mesothelioma?

Much of what you see in the media about mesothelioma features senior citizens as the victims, so it’s easy to believe that only elderly people are at risk. Unfortunately, this is misinformation - and, in some cases, might even be life-threatening.

As Global Asbestos Awareness Week 2021 continues, we’re breaking down myths surrounding the dangers of asbestos, including this one.

Myth: Only elderly people are at risk for developing mesothelioma.

In the eyes of the public, asbestos use isn’t as common today as it was 30+ years ago. It’s understandable why some people believe that mesothelioma only develops in the elderly. Unfortunately, this is false.

Mesothelioma has a long latency period, meaning it can take 20-50 years after exposure to asbestos before the victim is diagnosed. This obviously makes mesothelioma more common in older demographics, but people of all ages still are at risk. Children as young as 13 years of age have been diagnosed with mesothelioma. The youngest person to have died from this rare and aggressive form of cancer was just 18 years old. Oftentimes, secondhand exposure is the cause. An example of secondhand exposure would be if asbestos fibers are brought into a household on the clothes of someone who had been handling the material.

While mesothelioma does affect the elderly more than it does the young, it’s dangerous to believe that the younger you are, the more invincible you are. The scary reality is that anyone exposed to asbestos can one day be diagnosed with mesothelioma, regardless of age.

Showing Your Support Online

To support the efforts of Global Asbestos Awareness Week 2021, we'll continue to release videos highlighting the common myths surrounding asbestos each day. Follow along here on our blog as well as on our Facebook and Twitter accounts, and don’t forget to like, share, and comment to show your support for victims of asbestos-related diseases. Be sure to use the hashtag #2021GAAW.

Together we can raise awareness and beat asbestos-related diseases.

Sokolove Law Team

Contributing Authors

The Sokolove Law Content Team is made up of writers, editors, and journalists. We work with case managers and attorneys to keep site information up to date and accurate. Our site has a wealth of resources available for victims of wrongdoing and their families.

Last modified: April 5, 2021