Tag Archives: asbestosis

Energy Plant Workers Face Elevated Mesothelioma Risk

Construction workers and tradespeople who have worked at any of the U.S. Department of Energy’s  nuclear sites would do well to be aware of the early warning signs of cancer, including malignant mesothelioma and asbestosis. A new report prepared by the Center for Construction Research and Training and Duke University finds that people who worked at the DOE’s nuclear sites are at higher risk of death from “all causes, all cancers” and should be actively monitored for signs of disease. The research was based on data from the Building Trades National Medical Screening Program, a program established in 1996 to provide occupational medicine screening exams to construction workers employed at DOE nuclear facilities. More than 18,800 workers were monitored from … Continue reading Energy Plant Workers Face Elevated Mesothelioma Risk »

Asbestos Bans Influenced by Mesothelioma ‘Visibility’

asbestos ban

Why have some countries banned asbestos while others have not? A team of Korean researchers studying the question says it is likely influenced by perception of mesothelioma risk as well as what neighboring countries are doing. Medical authorities around the world agree that the mineral asbestos is directly linked to development of mesothelioma, a virulent cancer of the linings around organs. Most often found in the pleura encasing the lungs, mesothelioma is usually the result of on-the-job exposure to asbestos dust. Asbestos was once widely used in a variety of construction materials, including wallboard, paint, floor and ceiling tiles and cement blocks. Even in countries where asbestos is now banned, the presence of the material in existing buildings can pose a mesothelioma … Continue reading Asbestos Bans Influenced by Mesothelioma ‘Visibility’ »

Challenges and Promises for Mesothelioma Gene Therapy

A new report in the medical journal Cancer Gene Therapy says treatments that are based on genetic manipulation with the aid of modified viruses may be the wave of the future for combatting malignant pleural mesothelioma. The report comes from scientists at the Chiba Cancer Center Research Institute and Chiba University Medical School in Japan, where the incidence of mesothelioma is still increasing. Mesothelioma is an asbestos-linked cancer for which there is currently no standard cure. The Japanese team’s analysis of current global research on gene and virotherapy suggests that treatments that impact a particular genetic abnormality in the DNA of mesothelioma cells may have the greatest impact on the disease. They explain the process this way: “Preclinical studies targeting the … Continue reading Challenges and Promises for Mesothelioma Gene Therapy »

Pakistan May Ban Asbestos to Reduce Mesothelioma

Pakistan may be on the brink of banning the leading cause of mesothelioma. The mineral asbestos, used for decades in various industries, is believed to be responsible for nearly all cases of mesothelioma, an intractable cancer of the linings around organs. Now, the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Human Resource Development in Pakistan is recommending that the use and importation of asbestos be permanently banned in the country. The committee made the recommendation after a series of hearings on asbestos and its link to mesothelioma. Federal Human Resource Secretary Raja Ahsan told the committee that asbestos presents a “major threat” for mesothelioma and cancer among Pakistan’s industrial workers. Asbestos consumption continues to rise in Pakistan; One study shows that the figure … Continue reading Pakistan May Ban Asbestos to Reduce Mesothelioma »

Asbestosis vs. Mesothelioma: Early Exposure May Make the Difference

British researchers studying occupational deaths in England and Wales may have found a way to explain why some people exposed to asbestos develop asbestosis while others developmesothelioma. Although both diseases are caused primarily by occupational exposure to asbestos, the new study published in a British medical journal suggests that heavier exposure earlier in life may be more likely to cause asbestosis than mesothelioma. The researchers based their results on an exhaustive study of 33,751 mesothelioma deaths and 5396 asbestosis deaths. Death rates were plotted by age group. Because mesothelioma can take decades to develop, it was not surprising that death rates for both diseases were much higher among the oldest birth cohorts. But what was a surprise is that the … Continue reading Asbestosis vs. Mesothelioma: Early Exposure May Make the Difference »

Asbestosis and Mesothelioma Rates Remain High in Louisiana

A new report has some discouraging health news for the residents of Louisiana: Their risk of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases remains higher than residents of other states, despite an increase in asbestos regulation. In a recent study of the chronic, debilitating lung disease, asbestosis, researchers in the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals note that the state has more facilities that produce, process or use asbestos than any other state in the US. Like mesothelioma, a deadly cancer of internal body membranes, asbestosis is caused by inhaling or ingesting asbestos fibers. “As a condition highly associated with occupational exposure, its incidence has been affected by changes in industry standards,” the authors write in the Journal of the Louisiana State Medical … Continue reading Asbestosis and Mesothelioma Rates Remain High in Louisiana »

Mesothelioma Risk in Consumer Products

Tremolite asbestos is a non-commercial form of amphibole mineral found in some chrysotile, talc and vermiculite deposits.  Like all forms of asbestos, it carries the risk of asbestosis, lung cancer and malignant mesothelioma.  Although people who live or work around asbestos mines or work directly with asbestos-containing products are at greatest risk, tremolite may also pose a mesothelioma risk to consumers. A recent study by a California firm called ChemRisk is warning that hundreds of consumer products contain mesothelioma-causing tremolite.  To get an idea just how great the mesothelioma risk is, the group looked at the exposure-response relationship in two high-asbestos environments – the Thetford chrysotile mine in Canada and the vermiculite mine in Libby, Montana.  For people working in these … Continue reading Mesothelioma Risk in Consumer Products »

GM Mesothelioma Claims May Rise

Creditors of the bankrupt remains of General Motors have won the right to estimate just how much the company could have to pay out to mesothelioma victims in the coming years. Like many car manufacturers, GM used asbestos as part of the brake linings in its vehicles for years.  This encapsulated asbestos poses a serious health hazard, including the potential for malignant mesothelioma, to anyone who disturbs it by working on those brakes.  Because brake work can release deadly asbestos dust into the air where it can be easily inhaled, auto mechanics are at risk for asbestos-related diseases, including not only mesothelioma, but also asbestosis and lung cancer. Because of this danger, GM is no stranger to asbestos-related lawsuits and mesothelioma claims.  … Continue reading GM Mesothelioma Claims May Rise »

Power Plants Workers at High Risk for Mesothelioma

A new German study has confirmed what thousands of power plants workers already know: their exposure to asbestos on the job puts them at high risk for malignant mesothelioma. Because of its heat resistant properties, asbestos was used for many years as an insulator around hot power plants turbines, wires and other sensitive equipment.  Thousands of power plants workers have come in contact with the material on a daily basis, in some cases, for decades. In the newest study on the risk of mesothelioma among power plant workers, German researchers monitored 8,632 former or current power plant employees between 2002 and 2006 who worked with the large turbines.  The researchers took dust fibers from in and around the plants and found … Continue reading Power Plants Workers at High Risk for Mesothelioma »

Are Kansas Prison Workers at Risk for Mesothelioma?

The Kansas department of corrections is coming under fire from the EPA for being unable to show they protected workers during an asbestos removal project in 2005 – a project that could have put them at risk for mesothelioma. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that inmates and former employees took part in the project, which involved grinding up and removing asbestos floor tiles and insulation in one of the dormitories.  Asbestos is a known carcinogen that can cause mesothelioma, asbestosis, and other cancers and the EPA has strict guidelines for its proper removal.  The corrections department appears to have followed those guidelines for asbestos removal projects in 2007, 2008, and 2009, using qualified abatement professionals and taking the recommended steps to protect … Continue reading Are Kansas Prison Workers at Risk for Mesothelioma? »