September 14, 2011 – Researchers have recently found that the leading cause of asbestos-related malignant mesothelioma in women is likely from do-it-yourself home renovations. Generally, more men are diagnosed with mesothelioma than women because the majority of asbestos exposure occurs in male dominated work environments. However, the number of mesothelioma incidences in women has increased sharply in the past decade. During the 1990’s, the percentage of women who suffered from mesothelioma as a result of home renovations was 5 percent. Between 2005 and 2008 that percentage rose to 35 percent. For men, however, there was only an 8 percent increase during that time.
A University of Australia study found that of the 1,631 people (1,408 men and 223 women) diagnosed with mesothelioma between 1960 and 2008, 55 men and 32 women were linked to asbestos exposure during home renovations. The first documented mesothelioma case considered to be the result of home renovations is said to have occurred in 1981. It is believed that cases such as these are on the rise as older homes and buildings, many of which still have asbestos cement sheets, begin to need repairs.