Tag Archives: asbestos exposure

Mesothelioma Risk May Decline in Libby

A small bit of good news for the beleaguered town of Libby, Montana where mesothelioma has become a household word.  Declared a Superfund site by the EPA in 1999 because of high levels of asbestos from its vermiculite mines, Libby has been the site of the massive cleanup operation ever since.  According to the latest report, the EPA claims that the air in Libby is mostly safe to breath. Asbestos is known to cause mesothelioma, as well as asbestosis, lung cancer, and other serious lung disorders.  Libby’s high levels of asbestos, which spewed into the air from the mines and settled like dust across the town for more than 40 years, touched off a rash of mesothelioma cases, bringing it to … Continue reading Mesothelioma Risk May Decline in Libby »

Mesothelioma Treatment Becoming More Individualized

A respected team of mesothelioma experts predicts that treatment for this aggressive cancer will become increasingly personalized in the next five to ten years. A malignancy in the lining around the lungs and other organs, mesothelioma is caused almost exclusively by asbestos exposure. Although its occurrence in the U.S. is believed to have leveled out at about 3,000 cases per year, the number of cases around the world is continuing to increase. Because the disease is so difficult to treat, many patients succumb within a year of diagnosis, even with the best therapies now available. For this reason, researches continue to look for ways to predict which treatments are most likely to work for which patients. In a recent article … Continue reading Mesothelioma Treatment Becoming More Individualized »

Mesothelioma Causes Turkish Village To Be Evacuated

The Associated Press is reporting that an epidemic of mesothelioma cases is forcing the evacuation of a small Turkish village. Turkey has long been a favorite setting for researchers around the world studying mesothelioma.  A prevalence of a mineral in the soil called erionite appears to dramatically increase the risk that some residents will get the cancer most closely associated with asbestos exposure. According to the AP report, the town of Tuzkoy has a rate of mesothelioma that is 600 to 800 times higher than it is elsewhere in the world.  About 48 percent of deaths in that town, as well as in the nearby villages of Sarihidir and Karain, are from mesothelioma. Tuzkoy was declared a hazardous zone in 2004 and … Continue reading Mesothelioma Causes Turkish Village To Be Evacuated »

Buildings, Industries and Soil Pose Mesothelioma Risk in New Jersey

Removal of mesothelioma-causing asbestos is taking much longer than expected at an historic New Jersey library building where employees and patrons may have come in contact with the substance for years. Nearly a month after it was scheduled to reopen, the East Orange Public Library remains closed.  The 1914-vintage building was closed after a state health department inspection found exposed asbestos throughout the building, which could put employees and patrons at risk for deadly mesothelioma cancer.  The library was ordered to hire a professional abatement contractor to safety remove the dangerous material, but months after the job was started, there is no indication when the building will reopen. As a state with many old and historic neighborhoods, New Jersey has many … Continue reading Buildings, Industries and Soil Pose Mesothelioma Risk in New Jersey »

Mesothelioma Deaths Ruled ‘Negligent Homicide’

Mesothelioma Incidence Among Shipbreakers

The shipbuilding industry is the single most hazardous work environment in terms of asbestos exposure.  Now some Italian executives are being forced to own up to that fact and face jail time.  An Italian court has convicted three ex-executives of the Fincantieri shipbuilding company in Palermo of ‘negligent homicide’ in the mesothelioma deaths of 37 former employees.   The court ruled the defendants failed to protect or even warn the workers about the inherent risks of asbestos exposure – even though the danger had been known for years. Shipyards are where large ocean-going vessels, such as cargo ships, oil tankers, military vessels or submarines are built or repaired. Before the health risks of asbestos were known, such as causing mesothelioma, the mineral was prized in the shipbuilding industry for … Continue reading Mesothelioma Deaths Ruled ‘Negligent Homicide’ »

Construction Workers at Risk for Asbestos Exposure and Mesothelioma

Construction has always been a high-risk industry.  But one of the greatest risks for construction workers, especially those involved in the renovation or repair of older buildings, is the risk of exposure to asbestos and possibly mesothelioma – the asbestos caused cancer. Although the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) have taken various regulatory actions over the years to try to protect construction workers from asbestos, EPA data suggests that the risk remains high.  In 1971, OSHA established a permissible exposure limit (PEL) for asbestos of 12 fibers per cubic centimeter of air.  That was reduced to just 0.1 f/cc in 1994, but OSHA inspection data collected in 2003 found that 20 percent of air samples … Continue reading Construction Workers at Risk for Asbestos Exposure and Mesothelioma »

Electrician’s Mesothelioma Death Highlights Asbestos Risk

The death of an electrician from mesothelioma is making headlines in Great Britain.  An inquest has concluded that a British electrician who helped build a Nuclear Power Station in Gloucestershire died as a direct result of asbestos exposure.  UK newspaper The Gazette reports that Gerald Brown, who died in November of mesothelioma, was an apprentice with NG Bailey of Yorkshire when the power station was built. According to the results of the inquest, Brown died as a direct result of the large amount of asbestos used at the plant.  Although he did not work directly with asbestos, Brown claims to have seen clouds of the mineral dust throughout the plant while he worked there and even remembered going home from work covered … Continue reading Electrician’s Mesothelioma Death Highlights Asbestos Risk »

Mesothelioma Patients Can Survive Past Five Years

Mesothelioma, the rare but deadly cancer of the mesothelium caused by asbestos exposure, is often fatal within a year of diagnosis.  But thanks to better diagnostic tools, including the use of some newly-identified biomarkers to identify those at highest risk, some patients do survive this cancer for five years or more. Statistics from the National Cancer Institute indicate that 7.3 percent of people diagnosed with mesothelioma between 1999 and 2006 were likely to be alive five years later.  People who are younger than 65 at the time of diagnosis have the greatest chance of making it at least five years – 14.8 percent.   The latest National Cancer Institute prevalence figures say 2,774 people were diagnosed with mesothelioma between 2000 and … Continue reading Mesothelioma Patients Can Survive Past Five Years »

Sailors Unknowingly Faced Mesothelioma Risk

Sailors who worked aboard Navy vessels during World War II and the Korean War knew they would face risks.  But many did not realize that one of the greatest risks – asbestos causing mesothelioma – was invisible and was prevalent inside their own destroyers, aircraft carriers, and submarines, as well as throughout the ship yards. Until about the late 1970’s, asbestos was used extensively in ship-building, particularly in areas – such as around boilers or in engine rooms – where exposure to high heat was likely.  Because of its heat resistant properties, the material was also commonly used in the insulation of walls and around the pipes of ships. As a result, many sailors who worked in areas where asbestos was used, … Continue reading Sailors Unknowingly Faced Mesothelioma Risk »

Mesothelioma Risk Multiplied by Environmental Asbestos Exposure

Working in an asbestos plant has long been linked to an increased risk for mesothelioma, but new research finds that living near one of these plants may also increase a person’s risk of developing the disease. Leftover waste from asbestos facilities may contribute to as many as ten additional cases of mesothelioma each year in neighboring communities, according to a recent study in the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology. Given the relative rarity of mesothelioma, the increased risk to people living near an asbestos plant is significant. “This is a substantial increase over the expected incidence, we assume roughly two to three times higher than expected,” says lead study author Alex Burdorf, a professor of Public Health at Erasmus … Continue reading Mesothelioma Risk Multiplied by Environmental Asbestos Exposure »