Radiation Exposure Alone Unlikely to Cause Mesothelioma

radiation exposure in shipyards

A new study finds that low-dose occupational radiation exposure is unlikely to cause mesothelioma by itself. Instead, the study confirms what scientists have suspected for at least 60 years: The primary cause of mesothelioma is almost always asbestos.  The goal of the study was to see if radiation exposure by itself raises the risk for mesothelioma. Researchers analyzed three groups of people exposed to radiation on the job.   After reviewing more than 50 years worth of records, the team found that some workers were more likely than others to get malignant mesothelioma. But these were not the workers with the most radiation exposure. Radiation, Asbestos, and Mesothelioma A team of epidemiologists, cancer specialists, and radiation experts ran the new study. … Continue reading Radiation Exposure Alone Unlikely to Cause Mesothelioma »

Risk for Mesothelioma Does Not Decline After Asbestos Exposure Stops

Asbestos worker faces risk for mesothelioma

A new report contains some disappointing news for former asbestos workers: The risk for mesothelioma does not go down when asbestos exposure stops. A team of US and Italian researchers reached that conclusion after combing the medical literature for studies on the risk for mesothelioma. Although the risk for several other cancers declines when the person is no longer in contact with the carcinogen, the study shows this does not apply to asbestos cancer. Asbestos Increases Mesothelioma Risk Asbestos is the primary cause of mesothelioma. It is a naturally-occurring mineral that is resistant to corrosion, does not burn, and makes an excellent insulator. Malignant mesothelioma was virtually unheard of until people started mining and using asbestos in industry. Since then, … Continue reading Risk for Mesothelioma Does Not Decline After Asbestos Exposure Stops »

Risk of Dying from Mesothelioma Varies by Type, Study Shows

Risk of dying from mesothelioma

The risk of dying from mesothelioma rises and gradually falls  in the decades after exposure for most, but not all, types of asbestos cancer. New research shows those peaks and valleys can vary based on a number of factors. Public health researchers from across Italy recently published their findings on asbestos workers’ risk of dying from mesothelioma. They suggest that the lifetime risk of dying from peritoneal mesothelioma stays high, even after the risk of death from pleural mesothelioma and lung cancer begins to drop off. Quantifying the Risk of Dying from Mesothelioma Asbestos is the primary cause of all three types of mesothelioma: pleural, peritoneal, and pericardial. Pleural mesothelioma is the most common asbestos-related cancer. Pleural tumors start on … Continue reading Risk of Dying from Mesothelioma Varies by Type, Study Shows »

Asbestos in Mesothelioma Development: No Amount is Safe

asbestos in mesothelioma development

A new study contains some sobering news about the role of asbestos in mesothelioma development. Public health officials in Italy analyzed the medical records of people who died of pleural mesothelioma in the Broni, Italy area. Broni was the site of an asbestos cement plant from 1932 until 1993. They discovered that even some people who did not work with asbestos had a high risk of dying from this rare cancer. In fact, their risk for mesothelioma was higher even though their asbestos exposure was smaller. It suggests that no amount of asbestos exposure is “safe” — especially for people who are extra sensitive because of their genetics. Small Amounts of Asbestos in Mesothelioma Development Scientists began to suspect the … Continue reading Asbestos in Mesothelioma Development: No Amount is Safe »

Mesothelioma Risk Among Navy Veterans is Focus of New Report

Military veteran asbestos

A new study offers a sobering reminder of the mesothelioma risk among Navy veterans. Researchers at Vanderbilt University compared mesothelioma deaths among 114,000 veterans. These veterans were involved in nuclear testing during the Cold War. They referred to these service members as “atomic veterans”. Between 1945 and 1962, the US conducted 230 above-ground nuclear tests. Some of the tests took place in the Nevada desert while others were in the Pacific ocean. In a new study in the International Journal of Radiation Biology, researchers found a high mesothelioma risk among Navy veterans. They determined that it was much higher than it was in the other atomic veterans studied. Assessing Mesothelioma Risk in Atomic Veterans More than 250,000 military personnel took part … Continue reading Mesothelioma Risk Among Navy Veterans is Focus of New Report »

Heartland Teachers Face Mesothelioma Risk in the Classroom

Even though teaching is not a profession typically associated with asbestos exposure, a newly published report out of Wisconsin offers a disturbing reminder of the mesothelioma risk posed by asbestos, wherever it is found.   Researchers with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and the University of Wisconsin analyzed mesothelioma incidence in the state between 1997 and 2013. They discovered that, not only are there higher numbers of malignant mesothelioma cases among people in construction and manufacturing — two areas that have often been linked to mesothelioma — but the incidence also appears to be elevated among teachers. Malignant Mesothelioma and Asbestos Exposure Malignant mesothelioma is the most deadly of a group of illnesses associated with exposure to asbestos, a fibrous … Continue reading Heartland Teachers Face Mesothelioma Risk in the Classroom »

New Report Highlights Mesothelioma Danger in British Classrooms

A new report suggests that teaching is a surprisingly dangerous — and, in some cases, even deadly — profession in Great Britain. That is because more than 86 percent of the country’s 24,000 schools were built with products that contain asbestos — the primary cause of malignant mesothelioma. As these schools age, there is an increasing likelihood that some of that asbestos will turn into dust and that teachers, staffers, and even students may be inadvertently exposed to it. Asbestos in Schools Asbestos is a fibrous mineral that was once routinely used to add strength and fire-resistance to everything from concrete to floor and ceiling tiles, roof shingles, wallboard, and insulation. It has also been definitively linked to lung cancer, … Continue reading New Report Highlights Mesothelioma Danger in British Classrooms »

Mesothelioma Risk Could Rise Under New EPA Rule

Today is the last day for the public to weigh in on a new EPA rule some say could open the door for companies to begin using toxic asbestos in new ways, raising the risk for mesothelioma for thousands of people. Asbestos causes tens of thousands of cases of deadly malignant mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis around the world every year. Decades worth of science indicates that no level of exposure to the toxin is safe. Yet, while while the link between mesothelioma and asbestos has driven dozens of other countries to ban the substance, the US has failed to do so. Instead, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has policed the substance, regulating how, where, and by whom it can … Continue reading Mesothelioma Risk Could Rise Under New EPA Rule »

Asbestos Ban Not Enough to Wipe Out Mesothelioma in Italy

Twenty-six years after Italy instituted a ban on cancer-causing asbestos, the number of people dying of malignant mesothelioma is still rising. Researchers with the Istituto Superiore di Sanità in Rome computed the mortality rates from mesothelioma between 2003 and 2014 in each of the country’s 8,047 municipalities and found that more than 16,000 people had died from malignant mesothelioma. Most of those deaths were from pleural mesothelioma and most occurred in areas near industrial asbestos sources. Malignant Mesothelioma and Asbestos Bans An estimated 80 percent of people diagnosed with mesothelioma have some type of known exposure to asbestos, a naturally-occurring fibrous mineral that embeds itself in body tissues. Even though scientists were exploring the connection between asbestos exposure and diseases … Continue reading Asbestos Ban Not Enough to Wipe Out Mesothelioma in Italy »

The Evolution of Asbestos and Mesothelioma in Pop Culture

Today, most people with access to media are aware that asbestos is dangerous. Even people who are unfamiliar with the rare but deadly asbestos cancer, malignant mesothelioma, have heard that this once commonly-used mineral is toxic. But this was not always the case. In the 1930s, 40s, and 50s when asbestos was at the height of its popularity in the US and other Western countries, the media often portrayed it as something of a “miracle mineral”. A naturally-occurring mineral found all around the world, asbestos has high tensile strength and resists heat, fire and corrosion. For decades it was used in insulation, added to building products like floor tiles and concrete, and made into fireproof clothing, ironing board pads, hairdryer … Continue reading The Evolution of Asbestos and Mesothelioma in Pop Culture »

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