Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive cancer caused by exposure to asbestos fibers. A new study published in Translational Oncology looked at Naturally Occurring Asbestos (NOA). Data from Italy shows a connection between NOA and mesothelioma biomarkers.
Naturally occurring asbestos (NOA) is a material found in rocks and soil. It is caused by natural processes in the Earth. It’s different from the asbestos used in buildings or cars. When rocks or soil with NOA are disturbed by weather or human activities, tiny fibers can be released into the air. If people breathe them in, it can be harmful.
Exploring Environmental Health
Researchers have been looking into this environmental health puzzle. They wanted to know about the effects of NOA exposure. Researchers investigated 125 construction workers from February 2022 to October 2022. They wanted to understand how being around NOA for a long time affects the body.
The study found big differences in inflammation and methylation levels in the exposed workers. Data shows that being around NOA for a long time can change the body in important ways. This tells us more about how our bodies react to NOA exposure.
Mesothelin Methylation as a Marker
The scientists also looked at something called mesothelin methylation. This can show if someone might get mesothelioma. They found that it changed in response to NOA exposure, telling us more about how NOA affects our cells.
This research is a big step in learning more about Naturally Occurring Asbestos (NOA) exposure. It highlights the dangers faced by regions like Italy. More extensive research is essential to safeguard communities and mitigate the risks associated with asbestos exposure.
Ledda, Caterina, Carla Loreto, Claudia Lombardo, Venera Cardile, and Venerando Rapisarda. “Mesothelin Methylation, Soluble Mesothelin Related Protein Levels and Inflammation Profiling in Workers Chronically Exposed to Naturally Occurring Asbestos Fibers.” Translational Oncology 40 (February 1, 2024): 101872. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tranon.2023.101872.