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
The study, conducted by researchers in the Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine at Umea University, focused on male Swedish construction workers who had participated in health examinations between 1971 and 1993. Among the 367,568 workers included in the analysis, there were a total of 419 cases of mesothelioma occurring between 1972 and 2009. As expected, the incidence of mesothelioma was high among those who worked with some form of asbestos-containing insulation, including plumbers. But, although these groups of workers had higher rates of mesothelioma than the general public, they accounted for only 21% of the mesothelioma cases in the study. There were even higher numbers of mesothelioma cases among concrete workers and wood workers. Other occupational group with … Continue reading Construction Workers and Mesothelioma: Is Protection Really Possible?
There is new evidence that a blood test for a biomarker called N-ERC/mesothelin could help identify mesothelioma earlier and improve outcomes in people at risk for the disease. Cancer researchers with Juntendo University in Tokyo released a study in 2008 suggesting that N-ERC/mesothelin, a soluble protein released by certain kinds of cancer cells, was “a very promising tumor marker for mesothelioma, especially epithelioid mesothelioma”. In their newest study, the same group attempted to test the value of the biomarker as a warning tool for closer monitoring in populations at high mesothelioma risk. The new study included construction workers who were part of a large-scale, 5-year screening of people known to be exposed to asbestos, the primary cause of mesothelioma. The … Continue reading Mesothelioma Blood Test May Save Lives through Earlier Diagnosis
Two recent news stories highlight the fact that construction workers are often at higher risk for mesothelioma. The risk comes from exposure to asbestos, a toxic mineral once widely used as an insulator and building product additive. After asbestos dust was linked to malignant mesothelioma in the 1960s, workplaces began to implement protective measures. However, the long delay from time of asbestos exposure to development of mesothelioma means the measures came too late for some workers. A group of sick electricians and carpenters in New York is a case in point. More than a hundred independent contractors are alleging that long-term asbestos exposure at the county-owned Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, NY, caused them to develop mesothelioma and other asbestos illnesses. … Continue reading Lawsuits Focus on Mesothelioma Construction Risks