Tag Archives: asbestos

The Ongoing Effort to Downplay the Dangers of Asbestos

dangers of asbestos

A pair of occupational medicine experts say the dangers of asbestos – particularly its ability to cause cancers like malignant mesothelioma – are still being downplayed by those who mine and sell it.  The report appears in a recent issue of the Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology. The authors are experts in the field from Hamburg University in Germany and Drexel University School of Public Health in Philadelphia. Scientists around the world have warned about the dangers of asbestos for decades. Asbestos is responsible for tens of thousands of mesothelioma deaths every year. In the US, about 2,500 people die of mesothelioma annually because of asbestos exposure. Early Recognition of the Dangers of Asbestos Asbestos is a fibrous mineral … Continue reading The Ongoing Effort to Downplay the Dangers of Asbestos »

Early Mesothelioma Deaths a “Proxy” for Childhood Asbestos Exposure in Italy

asbestos exposure

A new study out of Italy is a sobering reminder of the devastating effects of early asbestos exposure.  Mesothelioma is rare in people under 50. But  the new study found about 35 Italians under 50 died of mesothelioma every year from 2003 to 2016. The highest number of deaths were among people from Northern industrialized parts of the country. These are the people most likely to experience environmental asbestos exposure as children.  The researchers say these early deaths indicate the toxicity of the environment in these regions – particularly to those who grew up there.  The Link Between Asbestos Exposure and Mesothelioma Malignant mesothelioma is an extremely rare cancer of internal membranes. It was almost unheard of before industrialization. Many … Continue reading Early Mesothelioma Deaths a “Proxy” for Childhood Asbestos Exposure in Italy »

Asbestos-Based Clutches and Brakes Linked to Cancer in Italian Workers

asbestos-based clutches and brakes

Italian researchers say cases of lung cancer among people who work with asbestos-based clutches and brakes in the country have probably been underestimated. And it remains to be seen how many of these workers end up contracting malignant mesothelioma. The study was led by occupational medicine experts from the province of Brescia. They focused on an Italian company that produced asbestos-based clutches and brakes for more than 20 years.  The team conducted an analysis of the workers’ likely asbestos exposure levels. These levels were compared to the incidence of asbestos-related diseases like lung cancer, asbestosis, and pleural mesothelioma.  The conclusion? The risk is bigger than anyone realized.  Mesothelioma Risk from Asbestos-Based Clutches and Brakes Asbestos is a fibrous mineral that … Continue reading Asbestos-Based Clutches and Brakes Linked to Cancer in Italian Workers »

Asbestos Raises Mesothelioma Risk, Regardless of Type

asbestos raises mesothelioma risk

A new report led by the National Cancer Institute offers further evidence that every type of asbestos raises mesothelioma risk.  Scientists have known since the 1950s that asbestos is the main cause of mesothelioma. But some have argued that not all types of asbestos are equally dangerous. The new study refutes that idea. Researchers compared outcomes from people exposed to different kinds of asbestos. They conclude that asbestos raises mesothelioma risk, regardless of type.  Asbestos as a Carcinogen Asbestos is a naturally-occurring mineral. It has to be mined from the ground. Asbestos is strong, cheap, and impervious to heat and chemical erosion. It was a popular additive to many products before doctors realized that asbestos raises mesothelioma risk. The most … Continue reading Asbestos Raises Mesothelioma Risk, Regardless of Type »

Asbestos Causes Mesothelioma Through Release of This Protein, Study Finds

asbestos causes mesothelioma

Some of the world’s top mesothelioma experts believe they now have a better understanding of how asbestos causes mesothelioma. The finding could help lead to more effective ways of treating it.  Malignant mesothelioma is a deadly cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. There is no cure. Once symptoms develop, many patients do not live beyond a year.  Scientists have known since the early 1900s that asbestos causes mesothelioma. But they are still trying to figure out exactly how. A new international study led by the University of Hawaii may help answer the question. Membrane Cells Under Attack Mesothelioma is a cancer of a mesothelial membrane. The most common mesothelial membrane where mesothelioma occurs is the pleura. The pleura is a … Continue reading Asbestos Causes Mesothelioma Through Release of This Protein, Study Finds »

Asbestos Affects Immunity, New Report Finds

asbestos affects immunity

A new report from Japanese doctors shows that asbestos affects immunity. It may help explain why exposure to asbestos can trigger mesothelioma. Asbestos is the primary cause of malignant mesothelioma worldwide. But doctors still do not know for sure how this fibrous mineral causes cancer.  Scientists know that inflammation and irritation have something to do with mesothelioma development. But they still do not know much about how asbestos affects immunity. Asbestos and Mesothelioma Development Asbestos is a silicate mineral that lies deep in the ground. For decades, people mined asbestos for use in various industries. Nearly every building in the US built before the mid-1980s contains some asbestos. But asbestos is also a carcinogen. Even small amounts of asbestos exposure … Continue reading Asbestos Affects Immunity, New Report Finds »

Asbestos Cement Factory Still Impacting Lives in Italy

asbestos cement factory

Residents who worked in or lived near an asbestos cement factory in Italy are still suffering the effects of toxic pollution decades later.  Separate studies in two environmental health journals this month highlight the ongoing problem. Both show there are more mesothelioma cases in these regions than in the rest of Italy. This is true even though Italy banned asbestos 30 years ago. One study concentrates on people who worked in an asbestos cement factory. The other focuses on mesothelioma patients whose only exposure was through air pollution near a factory  The Deadly Legacy of Asbestos in Broni The Fibronit asbestos cement company operated plants in Bari and Broni, Italy.  Broni is a town of about 9.000 people. The asbestos … Continue reading Asbestos Cement Factory Still Impacting Lives in Italy »

The High Cost of Mesothelioma in Turkey

cost of mesothelioma

Researchers in Turkey have released a sobering report on the real cost of mesothelioma in their country.  The article appears in the latest issue of Archives of Environmental & Occupational Health. It details the lives lost to asbestos cancer. It also talks about loss of productivity as a cost of mesothelioma.  Mesothelioma is a rare but virulent cancer that is resistant to most kinds of treatment. Turkey is a hotbed for mesothelioma because of the high levels of cancer-causing minerals in the soil. Some Turkish people also seem to have a higher genetic susceptibility to mesothelioma. This cancer is so common in some parts of Turkey that it is a popular place for mesothelioma research.   Why the Cost of Mesothelioma … Continue reading The High Cost of Mesothelioma in Turkey »

Can These Compounds Protect Against the Toxic Effects of Asbestos?

toxic effects of asbestos

A recent study out of Australia suggests that compounds called zeolites might offer protection against the toxic effects of asbestos. Asbestos is the primary cause of malignant mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive cancer for which there is no cure. There is no way to remove asbestos from the body after a person has been exposed. But the new study suggests that zeolites might counteract some of the toxic effects of asbestos.  If the impact can be validated in humans, it could one day change the outcomes for thousands of people at risk for mesothelioma.  What Are the Toxic Effects of Asbestos? Asbestos is a naturally-occurring mineral made up of long microscopic fibers. The size and shape of these … Continue reading Can These Compounds Protect Against the Toxic Effects of Asbestos? »

Familial and Environmental Asbestos Exposure Raise Mesothelioma Risk in Women

environmental asbestos exposure

Italian researchers say women who live around an asbestos plant or with one of its workers may be at special risk for mesothelioma from the combination of familial and environmental asbestos exposure.  The research appears in a new issue of the Annals of Work Exposures and Health.  Scientists have long known about the link between asbestos on worker’s clothes and mesothelioma among the women who wash those clothes.  But the new report shows that some of these women face an even greater cumulative risk because of environmental asbestos exposure. Bringing the Mesothelioma Risk Home Traditionally, most jobs with the potential for asbestos exposure have been in male-dominated industries. These include industries like construction, shipbuilding, plumbing, electrical work, and asbestos mining … Continue reading Familial and Environmental Asbestos Exposure Raise Mesothelioma Risk in Women »