Tag Archives: workers

Does Asbestos Type Impact Mesothelioma Development?

Another study appears to confirm what scientists have long believed – that crocidolite may be the most dangerous form of the deadly toxin, asbestos. All types of asbestos have been linked to mesothelioma, lung cancer, and other serious illnesses. But scientists in Poland recently found the largest number of mesothelioma cases in plants where crocidolite had ever been used. Crocidolite, or blue asbestos, is not as heat resistant as other types of asbestos, which made it less popular for commercial products like insulation, gaskets and seals. Instead, crocidolite was most often used to make asbestos cement products. These products were used around the world for decades and thousands of workers who helped make them have paid the price by contracting malignant … Continue reading Does Asbestos Type Impact Mesothelioma Development? »

Too Much Airborne Asbestos Means Higher Mesothelioma Risk for Workers

A new study evaluating trends in workplace concentrations of asbestos over time and across industries has some good news and bad news about mesothelioma risk for workers. Researchers at Cardno ChemRisk, a  California-based scientific consulting firm, analyzed data collected by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) between 1984 and 2011. OSHA conducts inspections to measure asbestos concentrations because of the link between asbestos exposure and lung diseases like malignant mesothelioma. The bad news is that many of the air samples collected contained dangerously high levels of asbestos fibers, well beyond what OSHA allowed. This was the case even decades after asbestos was identified as the primary cause of mesothelioma. “Asbestos compliance sampling data associated with the construction, automotive repair, manufacturing, and … Continue reading Too Much Airborne Asbestos Means Higher Mesothelioma Risk for Workers »

Using a "Job Exposure Matrix" to Predict Mesothelioma

Researchers in one of the world’s top mesothelioma hot spots have come up with an asbestos disease prediction matrix which may help ensure that fewer cases of mesothelioma go undiagnosed. Even though Australia has one of the world’s highest per capita rates of malignant pleural mesothelioma, data on where and when people were likely to have been exposed to asbestos is sketchy. As researchers from the University of Western Australia in Perth note in an article in The Annals of Occupational Hygiene, “In Australia…estimates of disease risk and attribution of disease causation are usually calculated from data that are not specific for local conditions.” One of the problems with not trying to quantify risk in different locations and in different … Continue reading Using a "Job Exposure Matrix" to Predict Mesothelioma »

Could Your Hairdryer Cause Mesothelioma?

A recent issue of the International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health contains some sobering news for hairstylists. A frightening new report highlights the potential link between the frequent use of hairdryers and a higher risk of deadly malignant mesothelioma. Hairdressers are not typically counted among the occupations at elevated risk for mesothelioma. Construction workers, electricians, plumbers, and others who work with asbestos-containing insulation have the highest incidence of mesothelioma, which is caused by inhaling the tiny fibers. But the same qualities that make asbestos such a good insulator in construction products, also make it ideal as an insulator and heat shield inside hairdryers. Hundreds of models from almost every major manufacturer were once made with asbestos. The asbestos heat shields were … Continue reading Could Your Hairdryer Cause Mesothelioma? »

Man-made Insulator Unlikely to Pose Same Mesothelioma Risk as Asbestos

German scientists say a man-made insulating material called refractory ceramic fiber (RCF) is unlikely to raise the risk of lung cancer or mesothelioma in workers, despite the results of animal studies. . Although some tests of the aluminum-silicate based material on animals have suggested that it may also cause cancer, human studies have found no proof. Now, a new study conducted by researchers in the Institute of Molecular Pharmacology and Toxicology in Munich say RCF fibers probably do not raise the risk for lung cancer or mesothelioma. They base their conclusion on the fact that RCF fibers are similar in size and shape to rock wool fibers and are likely to have a similar level of toxicity. Rock wool or … Continue reading Man-made Insulator Unlikely to Pose Same Mesothelioma Risk as Asbestos »

Man-Made Fiber May Compound Mesothelioma Risk from Asbestos

Workers exposed to both asbestos and another insulation material called refractory ceramic fiber (RCF) are more than 4 times as likely to develop malignant pleural mesothelioma as are workers who were only exposed to asbestos. That is the conclusion of a new study from a team of French scientists at the University of Bordeaux. Asbestos, a fibrous mineral used in insulation and building materials, has been known for decades to increase the risk of mesothelioma. RCF is a manmade aluminum-silicate-based material that is also used for insulation, particularly in high-heat industrial applications. Although some animal studies on RCF have suggested that the material might also cause cancer, a 2012 study in Inhalation Toxicology found no increase in lung cancer or … Continue reading Man-Made Fiber May Compound Mesothelioma Risk from Asbestos »

Mesothelioma Victims’ Victory in Pennsylvania

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Workers and their families have won a victory in Pennsylvania after the state Supreme Court ruled that they could sue former employers over late-manifesting industrial diseases like mesothelioma. The decision focused on a provision in Pennsylvania’s Workers’ Compensation Act that says workers cannot sue an employer if their occupational disease occurred more than 300 weeks after their on-the-job exposure. While many occupational injuries and diseases occur within weeks or months of exposure to a toxin, asbestos diseases like mesothelioma are a notable exception. Believed to be caused by chronic irritation from inhaled or ingested asbestos fibers, mesothelioma does not usually begin to cause symptoms until at least a decade after exposure. Expressing the opinion of the majority, Supreme Court Justice … Continue reading Mesothelioma Victims’ Victory in Pennsylvania »

States Wrestle with Mesothelioma Laws & Violations

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The city of Paterson, New Jersey is facing hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines for putting city workers at risk for deadly mesothelioma and other asbestos related diseases. A state labor department inspection determined that Paterson had committed 43 OSHA safety violations, including 13 “serious” violations related to asbestos removal. The labor department says the city failed to properly supervise, train or monitor employees charged with removing asbestos ceiling tiles from a city building. They’re also charged with failing to provide the workers with the proper safety equipment. Asbestos is the primary cause of malignant mesothelioma, an aggressive cancer. Workers exposed to the asbestos now face an increased lifetime risk of developing mesothelioma. Paterson could face fines of $4,500 per day … Continue reading States Wrestle with Mesothelioma Laws & Violations »

Lawsuits Focus on Mesothelioma Construction Risks

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 »

Australian Electricians Fear Mesothelioma Risk

Calling the modification of electrical meter boxes a “game changer”, an official from Australia’s largest electricians union says workers should refuse to do it until the dangerous boxes have been inspected. Allen Hicks, Assistant National Secretary of the Electrical Trades Union, told the Sydney Morning Herald that asbestos-containing meter boxes are being modified more frequently because of renovations and that too many workers are not adequately protected against mesothelioma and other asbestos related diseases. The warning, which centers on the meter boxes in homes built before 1983, was issued after a New South Wales electrical company instructed its workers to wear masks around the boxes to minimize asbestos and mesothelioma risk. When the Electrical Trades Union learned of the warning, they advised … Continue reading Australian Electricians Fear Mesothelioma Risk »