However, we do know is that high rates of mesothelioma diagnoses occur among people who have been exposed to asbestos. Asbestos is an incredibly strong fiber that is resistant to heat. Therefore, asbestos is very desirable for many industrial and manufacturing enterprises. The groups with the highest rate of mesothelioma are the World War II and Vietnam veterans. Use of asbestos peaked during the war, as it is used for many important functions.