Since asbestos was widely used in industrial and commercial products, the majority of mesothelioma patients were exposed to this toxic substance in the workplace.
Asbestos was extensively used in every branch of the military due to its insulating and fire-retardant properties. Veterans who worked as boilermen, pipefitters, mechanics and welders had the highest risk of exposure.
Family members can inhale asbestos fibers and dust that a loved one carries into the home on work clothes. This is referred to as "secondary" or "take-home" exposure and is frequently associated with how women develop peritoneal mesothelioma.