The Role of Asbestos in Mesothelioma Development in Nordic Countries
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The Role of Asbestos in Mesothelioma Development in Nordic Countries

A new study of pleural mesothelioma in Nordic countries highlights the critical role of asbestos in mesothelioma development.  Asbestos is the primary cause of mesothelioma around the world. There are many statistics on the incidence of mesothelioma in countries that use asbestos. But there is not much information on mesothelioma incidence, mortality, and survival prior to the popularity of asbestos. This makes it difficult to quantify the influence of asbestos in mesothelioma development.  Researchers from the Czech Republic, Germany, Finland and China compiled the new information using the NORDCAN cancer database. The database includes statistics on mesothelioma in Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden dating back as far as the 1940s.  Their analysis, published in BMC Cancer, is a sobering reminder…

Mesothelioma Risk to War Survivors Highlighted by Journalist’s Case
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Mesothelioma Risk to War Survivors Highlighted by Journalist’s Case

A new Italian case study highlights the mesothelioma risk to war survivors, including journalists and bystanders.  In an article in BMJ Case Reports, researchers from Rome detail the case of a war journalist who contracted mesothelioma after more than ten years in the field.  The male journalist worked in war zones in the Far and Near East. He inhaled a range of toxic substances including asbestos in the dust and smoke from destroyed buildings.  The new case report is a sobering reminder that bombs and bullets are not the only deadly threats in war-torn regions. Asbestos dust poses an often-overlooked mesothelioma risk to war survivors. Asbestos and its Link to Mesothelioma Asbestos is a naturally-occurring mineral. It is inexpensive, plentiful,…

Asbestos on Ships Still Poses a Mesothelioma Risk to Sailors
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Asbestos on Ships Still Poses a Mesothelioma Risk to Sailors

A new report warns that sailors are still at risk for malignant mesothelioma because of asbestos on ships – in spite of OSHA regulations. A pair of public health researchers authored the report which appears in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.  Sailors face a number of health risks, including malignant mesothelioma. But the authors of the new report say more studies focus on people who work in shipyards.  They say there is not enough attention on the mesothelioma risk among people who not only work but also live with asbestos on ships.  The Use of Asbestos on Ships Asbestos is a naturally-occurring mineral. It must be mined from the ground and then processed into various products….

New Study: Pure Talc is Not a Cause of Pleural Mesothelioma
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New Study: Pure Talc is Not a Cause of Pleural Mesothelioma

New research out of Italy is further evidence that asbestos – and not other dusty minerals like talc – is almost always the cause of pleural mesothelioma. The evidence comes from a 50-year study of more than 1,700 Northern Italian talc miners and millers.  Talc and asbestos often lie close together in the ground. Some people who have worked in talc mines or even used talc products have developed malignant mesothelioma. Many of these mines and products were contaminated with asbestos. This makes it difficult to know if it was the talc or the asbestos that caused the cancer.  But the workers in the new study worked in a mine that was uncontaminated with asbestos. Analysis of their causes of death…

Occupational Asbestos Exposure: The Need for Standardized Assessment
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Occupational Asbestos Exposure: The Need for Standardized Assessment

A new report shows how important it is to have a standardized way to assess occupational asbestos exposure in people with mesothelioma.  Malignant mesothelioma is almost always caused by exposure to asbestos. Usually, that happens in the workplace. But sometimes, even the worker has no idea how or where he or she was exposed. This is especially true in industries not normally associated with occupational asbestos exposure.  The new Italian case study of a trucking worker who developed pleural mesothelioma illustrates the point.  Some Occupations Pose a Higher Mesothelioma Risk Than Others Before scientists discovered how dangerous it was, asbestos was a common additive to many products. Industries prized the fibrous mineral for its strength, heat and corrosion resistance, durability,…

How Long Does Mesothelioma Risk Last After Asbestos Exposure?
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How Long Does Mesothelioma Risk Last After Asbestos Exposure?

If you experienced asbestos exposure more than 30 years ago and you have not developed mesothelioma, your risk for the disease may be starting to decline.  A new Italian study is the latest to suggest that mesothelioma risk may taper off over time. A group of occupational health experts conducted the study. Their goal was to predict mesothelioma trends in Italy until 2040.  The data shows that mesothelioma cases will probably peak this year. But they also show that most of those cases will happen in people with asbestos exposure in the last three decades.  Asbestos Exposure and Mesothelioma Incidence Asbestos is the main cause of malignant mesothelioma. A small number of mesothelioma cases happen without any known asbestos exposure….

South Korean Mesothelioma Rates Still Rising Decades After Asbestos Ban
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South Korean Mesothelioma Rates Still Rising Decades After Asbestos Ban

A new report out of South Korea is proof that it can take many years for mesothelioma rates to decline even after implementing an asbestos ban. Asbestos is the number one cause of malignant mesothelioma worldwide. South Korea banned asbestos in 2009. But a report in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health shows the country will likely be dealing with the after-effects well into the future.  A national asbestos ban is a vital step toward fighting occupational cancer. But the new study is a sobering reminder that it cannot eliminate mesothelioma overnight.  Occupational Risk for Malignant Mesothelioma Mesothelioma can be a health hazard for anyone who ever worked with or around asbestos.  Once a worker inhales or…

Banning Asbestos Still Best Way to Prevent Mesothelioma
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Banning Asbestos Still Best Way to Prevent Mesothelioma

A new Spanish report concludes that banning asbestos is the most effective way to prevent new cases of mesothelioma and asbestos-linked lung cancer.  Experts in epidemiology and occupational health conducted the research. Their report appears in a recent issue of the Spanish medical journal, Gaceta Sanitaria. The research shows that all types of asbestos raise the risk for lung cancer and mesothelioma and that some are extra dangerous. The study found that people exposed to needle-shaped amphibole asbestos fibers had the highest rates of illness.  They say the only way to fully protect people against both amphibole and serpentine asbestos (the other major category) is banning asbestos completely. Asbestos Restrictions in the US The US EPA, the Department of Health…

Atomic Military Veterans Faced Higher Risk From Asbestos Than Radiation
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Atomic Military Veterans Faced Higher Risk From Asbestos Than Radiation

A study published in a US medical journal shows atomic military veterans faced a higher risk from asbestos exposure during their service than they did from radiation.  The study published last summer focused on more than 100,000 veterans. These veterans participated in at least one of 230 above-ground nuclear weapons tests between 1945 and 1962. The tests took place at eight nuclear test sites.  Some soldiers participated in military maneuvers, observed nuclear weapons tests, or provided technical support. Others served on board ships or were stationed on islands during or after nuclear tests.  In spite of their proximity to radioactive weapons, atomic military veterans were more likely to die of an asbestos-related illness like mesothelioma than a radiation-related illness. The…

LA Woman’s Story is a Sobering Reminder to Watch for Signs of Pleural Mesothelioma
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LA Woman’s Story is a Sobering Reminder to Watch for Signs of Pleural Mesothelioma

The plight of an LA actress who found out she had lung cancer because of a COVID test is a sobering reminder to be aware of the early signs of pleural mesothelioma. The woman’s story was recently featured on the Today Show website. Fifty-nine year old Annabelle Gurwitch is a non-smoker with no known lung cancer risk factors. She and her 23-year-old child decided to get COVID tests after her child came home from college.  Although the COVID test was negative, Gurwitch writes that doctors were concerned about her persistent cough. Ongoing cough can be a one of the early signs of pleural mesothelioma, too. An X-ray revealed that Gurwitch was suffering from Stage 4 lung cancer, the most common…