A new study contains more disturbing news for people who work in certain areas of materials science. Like asbestos fibers, multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) are small enough to be inhaled or accidentally ingested as dust. Unlike asbestos, which occurs naturally and is mined for commercial use, MWCNTs are synthetic. These carbon-based molecules are shaped into concentric tubes which resist chemical corrosion and are valuable for use in electronics, optics, textiles, and other areas of manufacturing. The goal of the new German study was to identify possible carcinogenic effects of MWCNTs and to determine how the cancer triggered by these molecules compares to mesothelioma triggered by asbestos. The team injected different shapes and sizes of MWCNTs into the abdomens of 500 lab … Continue reading Carbon Nanotubes: Shape May Impact Mesothelioma Risk
People who live downwind from an industrial asbestos source are at much higher risk of developing pleural mesothelioma, according to a new study. Researchers in Barcelona, Spain analyzed 24 cases of pleural mesothelioma diagnosed between 2000 and 2009 near the town of Catalonia. For 90 years, this area of Barcelona was home to a fibrous cement factory where asbestos was used. Because asbestos dust is very light, it does not dissipate in the air quickly. When a person inadvertently inhales or ingests it, the tiny fibers lodge in the tissues and can cause health problems such as mesothelioma even decades later. Although the plant closed in 1997, the rate of mesothelioma in the region continues to be high. To test whether … Continue reading Wind and Weather Impacts Mesothelioma Rate
There’s more evidence that carbon nanotubes, cylindrical carbon molecules used in nanotechnology, electronics, optics and other fields, may cause mesothelioma in the same way that asbestos does. Because of their special mechanical and electrical properties and their ability to conduct heat, nanotubes are being added to an increasing number of structural materials, including the carbon fiber used to make baseball bats, golf clubs and car parts. As a result, more people who work in manufacturing and scientific fields are likely to be exposed to nanotubes. But a new published study suggests that, if these tiny fibers accidentally enter the lungs through inhalation, they can act very much like crocidolite asbestos fibers and eventually trigger mesothelioma. Crocidolite is a common type of asbestos … Continue reading Carbon Nanotubes: The Next Mesothelioma Risk?