Mesothelioma Persists in Australia Despite Asbestos Ban

Mesothelioma Doctors & Specialists

Australia’s legacy of asbestos mining and use continues to haunt it almost fifteen years after the country banned all forms of asbestos almost fifteen years ago. A new report published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health suggests that, although asbestos consumption peaked in Australia in the 1970s, malignant mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases continue to be a significant public health issue. Asbestos is a naturally-occurring mineral that was prized as a building product additive because of its high tensile strength and resistance to heat and corrosion. Australia is rich in the mineral and once operated several of the world’s largest mines. In the 1960s and 1970s, the country also had the highest per capita use of … Continue reading Mesothelioma Persists in Australia Despite Asbestos Ban »

Asbestos-Contaminated Insulation May Raise Mesothelioma Risk for Homeowners

People who live in houses with loose-fill asbestos insulation may be up to five times more likely to eventually develop deadly malignant mesothelioma. That is the finding of a 30-year Australian study of more than a million people in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), where asbestos-containing insulation had been used in some houses. The study found that, not only do residents of asbestos-insulated homes have a higher mesothelioma risk, but their chances of getting several others types of cancer were also elevated. Mesothelioma Risk Among People Who Live with Asbestos Insulation Researchers with the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health at Australian National University and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare at the University of Canberra used the … Continue reading Asbestos-Contaminated Insulation May Raise Mesothelioma Risk for Homeowners »

Asbestos Insulation May Account for Mesothelioma Surge in Australia’s Capital

The rates of malignant mesothelioma appear to be rising faster in the region around Australia’s capital city than they are in the rest of country and researchers believe that loose-fill asbestos insulation may be to blame. The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) comprises the capital, Canberra, and the surrounding area. The findings on mesothelioma rates in the region are part of a  newly released study conducted by scientists at the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health at the Australian National University in Canberra. Comparing Regional Mesothelioma Rates in Australia Malignant mesothelioma is a rare but intractable cancer usually caused by exposure to asbestos. Although Australia banned asbestos in the 1980s, the country still has the world’s highest per capita rate … Continue reading Asbestos Insulation May Account for Mesothelioma Surge in Australia’s Capital »

Mesothelioma Subtype Unrelated to Source or Degree of Asbestos Exposure

The source or degree of a mesothelioma patient’s asbestos exposure does not appear to have a direct impact on what mesothelioma subtype they develop. That is according to the results of a newly-published study out of Australia, a country with one of the world’s highest rates of asbestos cancer. To make their determination, mesothelioma researchers reviewed malignant mesothelioma cases from the Western Australian Mesothelioma Registry between 1962 and 2012, comparing each patient’s subtype with their exposure history. Understanding Mesothelioma Subtypes Mesothelioma tumor subtypes are determined by subtle differences at the cellular level. Subtype is determined by examining mesothelioma cells under the microscope. Understanding mesothelioma subtypes is an important part of developing effective mesothelioma treatments since the different types respond differently to … Continue reading Mesothelioma Subtype Unrelated to Source or Degree of Asbestos Exposure »

Australian Aboriginals Have World’s Highest Mesothelioma Rate

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The Aboriginal people of Western Australia have the highest per capita incidence of malignant mesothelioma in the world according to a new article in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Health. A now-closed asbestos mine may be to blame. Malignant mesothelioma is a lethal and fast-growing cancer of the membranes around the heart, lungs or abdomen. It is caused almost exclusively by the mineral asbestos. For decades, asbestos was used around the world to add strength and heat-resistance to a variety of building products including concrete, shingles, tile, and insulation. Even though asbestos is now banned in Australia because of the threat of mesothelioma, the country was once one of the world’s top producers. Mesothelioma in Australia Asbestos mining … Continue reading Australian Aboriginals Have World’s Highest Mesothelioma Rate »

Mesothelioma Not the Only Cancer Threat for Shipbreakers

Mesothelioma is not the only cancer whose incidence is elevated in workers exposed to asbestos. A new Taiwanese study of shipbreakers finds that these workers are more susceptible to a wide range of cancers and should be regularly monitored for signs of disease. Shipbreaking is the process of dismantling old ships for salvage or scrap. Before the link between asbestos and mesothelioma was establish, shipbreaking workers around the world were routinely exposed to asbestos in a variety of ship parts. Asbestos was prized for its resistance to heat, fire and corrosion and was commonly used by shipbuilders to insulate boilers and pipes and fireproof areas from the mess halls to the sleeping quarters. Although several studies have linked shipbreaking with … Continue reading Mesothelioma Not the Only Cancer Threat for Shipbreakers »

Study Finds Peritoneal Mesothelioma More Common in Textile Workers

A new report out of Asia finds that one of the rarest types of mesothelioma is “over-represented” in a group of female textile workers exposed to chrysotile asbestos. Chrysotile is one of six fibrous minerals that are classified as asbestos. Known as white asbestos, chrysotile is the most common type, accounting for about 95 of the asbestos used in industry. Chrysotile fibers are strong and can be made into thread and woven into cloth for flame retardant blankets and insulators. Like all types of asbestos, it is resistant to heat and flame. Although chrysotile was heavily used in textile workshops in Southeast China, no clear link had been drawn between workshop use of chrysotile and development of mesothelioma until now. In … Continue reading Study Finds Peritoneal Mesothelioma More Common in Textile Workers »

Using a "Job Exposure Matrix" to Predict Mesothelioma

Researchers in one of the world’s top mesothelioma hot spots have come up with an asbestos disease prediction matrix which may help ensure that fewer cases of mesothelioma go undiagnosed. Even though Australia has one of the world’s highest per capita rates of malignant pleural mesothelioma, data on where and when people were likely to have been exposed to asbestos is sketchy. As researchers from the University of Western Australia in Perth note in an article in The Annals of Occupational Hygiene, “In Australia…estimates of disease risk and attribution of disease causation are usually calculated from data that are not specific for local conditions.” One of the problems with not trying to quantify risk in different locations and in different … Continue reading Using a "Job Exposure Matrix" to Predict Mesothelioma »

Mesothelioma Remains a Serious Risk for Shipbreaking Workers

Mesothelioma Incidence Among Shipbreakers

Taiwanese researchers who conducted one of the few long-term studies of cancer among shipbreaking workers are calling for more “preventive measures” to protect these workers from deadly malignant mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is the most serious of a group of diseases caused by exposure to asbestos. Fire- and heat-resistant asbestos was commonly used to insulate ships starting in the 1920s, long before its health risks became public knowledge. People who now work to dismantle and demolish these old ships run the risk of encountering crumbling asbestos and raising their lifetime risk of mesothelioma. Noting that shipbreaking remains one of the world’s most dangerous jobs, public health and occupational medicine experts from several Taiwanese universities studied cancer incidence among more than 4,000 shipbreaking … Continue reading Mesothelioma Remains a Serious Risk for Shipbreaking Workers »

Unions Call for Asbestos-Free Australia

The head of an Australian Consortium of Trade Unions (ACTU) is calling on the government to protect its citizens against mesothelioma by ridding the country of asbestos by 2030. Ged Kearney is president of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, which represents construction unions and made the call on the ACTU website. Because asbestos was mined in Australia and in Australian buildings and cement from the 1950’s to the 1970’s, people who work in mining, construction and ship building trades are at higher risk for asbestos-linked diseases such as asbestosis and mesothelioma. According to the ACTU, Australia had the highest per capita use of asbestos in the world from the 1950’s to the 1980’s. The Australian government banned the use of asbestos … Continue reading Unions Call for Asbestos-Free Australia »

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