Important Mesothelioma Research Foundation Receives Federal Funding

For the first time ever, federal funds have been given to a nonprofit group dedicated to eradicating <"">mesothelioma. The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (Meso Foundation), said it received  federal research funding from the Department of Defense Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program and National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety (NIOSH). Mesothelioma is a deadly disease that is most commonly associated with asbestos exposure. Workers in certain occupations, including shipyard workers and auto works, are among the hardest hit with mesothelioma.

The group received its funding after its executive director, Chris Hahn, testified before the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcomittee. Mr. Hahn testified that a high proportion of military veterans develop mesothelioma. The group also met with senators to educate them on the disease and the potential for treatments if research funding were available. The DOD Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program was established to provide funding opportunities for medical research projects of clear scientific merit and direct relevance to military health.

It is estimated that over 30 million tons of asbestos were used in the United State during the 20th century.  Today, many asbestos-containing products remain in buildings, ships and industrial facilities where the fibers can be dislodged and become airborne. Family members are often exposed to asbestos fibers through another family members clothing.

There are approximately 3000 new cases of mesothelioma diagnosed each year. Some estimates predict there will be about 250,000 cases of mesothelioma before 2020.The disease tends to mostly affect men over the age of 40. Mesothelioma is often difficult to diagnose and if often affects victims many years after their <"">exposure to asbestos. The disease has a latency period of 20 to 50 years.

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