Study links Italian cement plants to higher cases of mesothelioma

27 Apr 2015 by under Research/Treatment

cement Stockage de ciments by Oussama zrafi Own work. Licensed under CC BY SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons 100x100 Study links Italian cement plants to higher cases of mesotheliomaA number of asbestos in Italy have been linked to clusters of victims across the country, according to the results of a new study. Those affected by the deadly disease range from former cement plant employees to even women living nearby the plants. Mesothelioma occurs when asbestos fibers, like those used in the Italian cement plants, have been inhaled or ingested. The fatal cancer can form along the lining of the lungs, abdomen, or, in rare cases, the heart. Unfortunately, there is still no known cure for mesothelioma.

In order to analyze how the negative health effects of asbestos had affected the country, the study included more than 15,000 Italians previously diagnosed with mesothelioma between 1993 and 2008. The study focused on analyzing how the victims came into contact with asbestos by studying where they lived, places they worked and even their family history.

Once all of the mesothelioma patients had been plotted on the map, the study identified exactly 32 clusters of mesothelioma cases. The two biggest clusters of asbestos exposure were nearby asbestos cement plants and shipbuilding/repair facilities. Both industries have become infamous for their higher usage of asbestos, as well as association for mesothelioma patients.

However, it was not just asbestos-exposed workers affected by the problematic industries, but those unfortunate enough to live nearby them. According to the research, regions surrounding cement plants also experienced a higher incidence of non-work-related mesothelioma cases believed to be caused by traveling asbestos particles. Most people don’t realize that is not uncommon for asbestos particles to travel, whether by air or on the clothes and belongings of those who work in the plants. A higher-than-expected amount of women were also diagnosed with mesothelioma, but the soil in these areas has naturally occurring asbestos as well.

Another shocking discovery of the study revealed that businesses with “no direct use of asbestos,” such as the textile, metal engineering and construction industries, were all linked to clusters of mesothelioma patients. In response to the startling news, the study’s authors, who consist of public health and cancer experts from several universities and Italy’s own Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, believe the study’s conclusions could have “major implications for public health policies, health surveillance, compensation procedures and site remediation programs.”

Source:
Surviving Mesothelioma

 

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