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 »

Remembering Veteran Victims of Mesothelioma

On this day when the US honors its fallen heroes, it is important to remember that not all who lost their lives from military service died on the battlefield. In fact, many died decades later of the rare asbestos-linked cancer, mesothelioma, as a result of exposure to asbestos in the military. Others are still battling this aggressive and incurable malignancy. Scientists have suspected a link between the fibrous mineral asbestos and malignant mesothelioma since as early as the 1930s. That was when miners and those who processed asbestos for a variety of uses began to get sick from a mysterious lung-related disease. But many decades passed and many people died—both in and outside of the military—before the Armed Services recognized … Continue reading Remembering Veteran Victims of Mesothelioma »

Mesothelioma and Laboratory Pads

Studies have shown that fibers of both chrysotile and tremolite asbestos were found in the air where laboratories pads have been used.    Multiple studies have confirmed that, if there is any chance of asbestos fibers entering the lungs, there is a risk of pleural mesothelioma or another asbestos-related condition. This is because it is very difficult for the body to rid itself of these sharp fibers after they have embedded themselves in the tissue. The longer these fibers stay in the body, the greater the likelihood that the person will eventually be facing a mesothelioma diagnosis.  

New Mesothelioma Study Compares Different Types of Asbestos Exposure

A new Turkish study is shining a spotlight on the role of environmental asbestos exposure in the development of malignant mesothelioma, an aggressive malignancy with no known cure. Malignant mesothelioma, which occurs on the membranes around the lungs, the abdominal organs or, more rarely, the heart, is most often associated with occupational asbestos exposure. But a new study in the Archives of Environmental and Occupational Health cautions that “Environmental asbestos exposure is as important as occupational exposure to develop malignant mesothelioma.” In addition, after studying 21 groups of Turkish mesothelioma patients with either environmental or occupational exposure, the researchers concluded that environmental exposure is different from occupational exposure in some notable ways. Asbestos Exposure and Mesothelioma Diagnosis Doctors have known … Continue reading New Mesothelioma Study Compares Different Types of Asbestos Exposure »

Uninformed Asbestos Workers Face Higher Mesothelioma Risk

A new survey conducted among asbestos workers in the UK finds that too many do not fully understand the laws about asbestos exposure and how to reduce their risk of deadly malignant mesothelioma. The survey was commissioned by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), the British equivalent of the US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. The goal was to determine how much construction workers know about the risks and regulations regarding asbestos, the primary cause of pleural mesothelioma in the UK and around the world. Too Many Don’t Know How to Manage Mesothelioma Risk Most people have heard that asbestos—once a common component of many building products—is associated with the risk of mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestos … Continue reading Uninformed Asbestos Workers Face Higher Mesothelioma Risk »

Mesothelioma Report Shows All Types of Asbestos Can Be Lethal

Close Up View of Asbestos

A new report from researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston confirms what many scientists have long believed – that no type of asbestos is “safe” and that all can lead to malignant mesothelioma. In a study of 62 malignant peritoneal mesothelioma patients published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine, the researchers found that more than a quarter of the cases of diffuse peritoneal mesothelioma were linked to chrysotile asbestos alone. The news appears to contradict the argument, made some some companies that mined or used asbestos, that chrysotile asbestos is less deadly than other varieties. Asbestos Varieties and Mesothelioma Asbestos mineral fibers come in several different varieties. The most common is the serpentine-shaped chrysotile  or “white” asbestos found … Continue reading Mesothelioma Report Shows All Types of Asbestos Can Be Lethal »

Mesothelioma Incidence Unaffected by Ambient Asbestos in Cities

City dwellers are no more likely to contract malignant pleural mesothelioma from asbestos dust in the air than people who live in rural areas – even though there is more asbestos dust in cities. That is the conclusion of a new study published in the journal Risk Analysis. The study was based on the fact that so-called “ambient asbestos”, or asbestos fibers that are free in the environment as dust, is known to be up to ten times higher in urban areas. What is Asbestos? Asbestos, a fibrous mineral once widely used in building products in the US, is the primary cause of malignant mesothelioma around the world. Once asbestos fibers are breathed in or swallowed, they tend to stay … Continue reading Mesothelioma Incidence Unaffected by Ambient Asbestos in Cities »

The World’s Workers Still Dying From Malignant Mesothelioma

An international study of malignant mesothelioma suggests that deaths from the asbestos cancer have increased in recent years, in spite of advances in diagnostic and treatment tools. The study included data and estimates on deaths from malignant mesothelioma in 230 countries between 1994 and 2014. Based on information obtained from the World Health Organization, a team of scientists in Japan, Australia, Singapore, Thailand, the US, and the UK grouped the countries into three categories – those with reliable numbers on malignant mesothelioma deaths, those with less reliable mesothelioma data, and those that do not track mesothelioma deaths. Mesothelioma Deaths Are Up The researchers found that, in the 59 countries that keep good data on mesothelioma deaths (including the US), more … Continue reading The World’s Workers Still Dying From Malignant Mesothelioma »

Second Study Confirms Pleural Mesothelioma Risk Plateau

Another new study has confirmed the idea that pleural mesothelioma risk does not appear to increase indefinitely after asbestos exposure, but instead may eventually hit a plateau. The newest study involved more than 1,800 asbestos cement workers in Pavia, Italy. Researchers in the department of public health at the University of Pavia and the University Eastern Piedmont in Novara computed the mortality ratios for the major causes of death among the workers. Major Causes of Death Among Asbestos Workers Not surprisingly, they found that asbestos workers faced a higher risk of dying from pleural or peritoneal mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis, all of which have been directly linked to asbestos exposure. In contrast to some other mesothelioma studies, the researchers … Continue reading Second Study Confirms Pleural Mesothelioma Risk Plateau »

The Economic Burden of Malignant Mesothelioma

Patients with malignant mesothelioma and their families are not the only ones impacted by the costs associated with the asbestos-linked cancer. There is also a societal economic burden that can run into the hundreds of millions of dollars. That is the conclusion of a new report published by Canadian occupational medicine and public health experts in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine. A History of Mesothelioma in Canada The objective of the study was to estimate the economic burden of lung cancer and malignant mesothelioma – the most devastating of the illnesses linked to asbestos exposure. Beginning as early as the 1930s and 1940s, thousands of Canadian workers, like other workers around the world, were exposed to asbestos at work, … Continue reading The Economic Burden of Malignant Mesothelioma »

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