No two cases will be alike and different exposure and physical characteristics may change the risk of developing mesothelioma or the length of time of the disease’s latency period.

Types of Asbestos Exposure

The type of asbestos exposure environment that caused mesothelioma will subsequently affect the volume of inhaled asbestos fibers, their placement within the protective lining of the lungs and the corresponding latency period.

  • Closed environments with poor ventilation and an abundance of disturbed asbestos fibers cause the most severe exposure, shortening the latency period.
  • Fine asbestos particulate dust, such as that ejected from brake pad linings during service or removal, can cause fibers to become embedded deeper within the body.
  • Repeated exposures often correspond to a higher risk of developing mesothelioma although one time asbestos exposure can be sufficient to cause the disease.
  • Factors like wearing protective equipment like masks and gloves can reduce the asbestos exposure level, likely leading to a decreased risk of developing a disease from asbestos exposure.


The occupation of the individual exposed to asbestos will often dictate the risk of asbestos exposure and the subsequent latency period associated with the disease of mesothelioma.

A 1997 study published in the European Journal of Cancer Prevention noted the following average latency periods comparatively among different professions:

  • Insulators — 29.6 years
  • Dock workers — 35.4 years
  • Shipyard workers — 49.4 years
  • Women exposed to asbestos domestically — 51.7 years
  • Navy and maritime personnel — 56.2 years
  • Various professions unrelated to the above — 43.7 years

Personal Health and Genetics

The personal health of the individual can extend or shorten the latency period. For instance, smoking can create a greater risk of developing mesothelioma from asbestos exposure.

There are also genetic factors which may play a role in who develops mesothelioma and the length of the diseases latency period.

Gender, height, weight and age during initial exposure can also affect the emergence of mesothelioma symptoms.

If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or lung cancer due to asbestos exposure, you should pursue legal action as soon as possible.

Contact Mesowatch for immediate assistance and a free, confidential case evaluation. Our leading team of asbestos exposure lawyers can use their experience and resources to determine all liable parties and pursue all available compensation for your losses.