Primary pericardial mesothelioma and asbestos exposure: a rare fatal disease

A 73-year-old woman without a history of cardiovascular disease was admitted to the hospital with progressive dyspnoea on exertion during the past several weeks, bilateral lower extremity oedema, orthopnoea and paroxistic nocturnal dyspnoea. She lived a few metres away from a badly preserved building containing asbestos for 50 years. Estimated jugular venous pressure was 6+5 cm H2O, a pericardial friction rub was heard, bilateral basal lung crackles were present and symmetrical below-knee pitting oedema was seen. Probrain natriuretic peptide was 2304?pg/mL, and chest radiograph showed a globular cardiac silhouette and blunting of the costophrenic angles due to a small transudative pleural effusion containing benign mesothelial cells on cytological analysis. Transthoracic echocardiogram showed a large pericardial effusion with diastolic collapse of the right ventricle and a hypotransparent mass (4×1.6?cm) attached to the visceral pericardium in the right apex (video 1). Therapeutic pericardiocentesis was performed and cytological analysis of pericardial fluid demonstrated malignant cells of inconclusive origin. CT scan of the chest, abdomen and pelvis, mammography and upper and lower gastrointestinal endoscopies showed no evidence of extracardiac disease. A primary cardiac tumour was assumed and positron emission tomography-CT was done, as a part of the staging workup, demonstrating isolated hyperfixation in the apex and right atrium.

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Source: Primary pericardial mesothelioma and asbestos exposure: a rare fatal disease


 Mesothelioma, Asbestos, and Legal Compensation: Basic Facts

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Asbestos expert warns ageing population will drive surge in mesothelioma deaths

AN ASBESTOS expert has warned that the number of men dying from a lethal lung disease caused by exposure to the mineral is likely to triple over the next 30 years.

Robin Howie said official predictions had “vastly underestimated” the death toll from mesothelioma, an incurable cancer, because they fail to take account of future improvements in life expectancy.

Mr Howie, an Edinburgh-based occupational hygienist who advises on health and safety, said that the expected surge in people living into the 80s and older meant that increasing numbers of men would survive long enough to develop mesothelioma, whereas past generations tended to die earlier from other illnesses. The condition takes 42 years on average to develop after initial exposure.

Source: Asbestos expert warns ageing population will drive surge in mesothelioma deaths


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Pleural malignant mesothelioma in dental laboratory technicians: A case series

Asbestos was used in dentistry as a binder in periodontal dressings and as lining material for casting rings and crucible. However, until now, only one case of malignant mesothelioma with occupational exposure to asbestos in dental practice has been reported. We present 4 pleural mesotheliomas out of 5344 cases identified in Lombardy, Italy, in 2000-2014. Three men had been working as dental laboratory technicians, with asbestos exposure for 10, 34, and 4 years, and one woman had been helping her husband for 30 years in manufacturing dental prostheses. The men described the use of asbestos as a lining material for casting rings, while the woman was not able to confirm this use. We confirm the association of malignant mesothelioma with dental technician work. Dental technicians suffering from mesothelioma should be questioned about past occupational asbestos exposure.

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Source: Pleural malignant mesothelioma in dental laboratory technicians: A case series


 Mesothelioma, Asbestos, and Legal Compensation: Basic Facts

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Asbestos Deaths Remain A Public Health Problem

People are still dying of cancer linked to asbestos, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control says, despite decades of regulations meant to limit dangerous exposure.

Starting in 1971, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has regulated how much asbestos workers can be exposed to, because it contains tiny fibers that can cause lung disease or cancer if they are swallowed or inhaled.

The Environmental Protection Agency regulates asbestos too, setting requirements for inspecting, demolishing and renovating buildings that contain materials made with asbestos, like insulation, vinyl tiles, roofing, shingles and paint.

But, a recent CDC analysis found that thousands of people are still dying each year from a type of cancer called malignant mesothelioma that is associated with inhaling asbestos fibers, even briefly or in small amounts. Even after decades of regulation, between 1999 and 2015 there were 45,221 mesothelioma deaths in the U.S. The majority of those who died were men.

The greatest increase is among people over 85 years old, who were likely exposed to asbestos many years ago. It can take anywhere from two to seven decades for mesothelioma to develop after a person inhales asbestos fibers. And early deaths among people 35 to 65 are down overall.

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Source: Asbestos Deaths Remain A Public Health Problem


 Mesothelioma, Asbestos, and Legal Compensation: Basic Facts

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Malignant mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure in dental tape

Although most cases of malignant mesothelioma of the pleura are caused by one or more readily recognized sources of exposure to asbestos, cases of the disease with more occult exposure occur, especially since asbestos has been used in over 3,000 products. Dental lining tape contained asbestos from the 1930s until at least the 1970s and was used in the lost wax method of casting crowns, bridges, and other metal dental prosthetic devices. We report six cases of pathology-verified malignant mesothelioma, mostly among dentists, following exposure to airborne dust from asbestos dental tape, which resulted in asbestos tort litigation. According to evidence available at present, chrysotile asbestos was the type of asbestos used in dental tape in the past in the United States, and the described cases followed relatively brief and intermittent exposure to this type of asbestos. These cases underscore the need for comprehensive exposure histories to determine exposure scenarios.

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Source: Malignant mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure in dental tape


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EPA Asbestos Review May Trigger Probe of Chlorine Industry

Chlorine manufacturers, which currently are the largest U.S. importers of asbestos, could have their use of the mineral reviewed soon if the Environmental Protection Agency selects asbestos as one of the first 10 substances it will analyze under the amended chemicals law.

Chlorine and caustic soda are manufactured by the chlor-alkali industry, which uses asbestos for one of three processes that companies can use to produce both chemicals. The U.S. Geological Survey has listed the chlor-alkali industry as the primary importer of asbestos in each annual mineral commodity summary the service has published since 2013. The industry’s use accounted for 90 percent of the 358 tons of asbestos imported into the country in 2015, the geologic survey said in its 2016 summary.

The chlor-alkali industry’s use of asbestos should be evaluated by the EPA as part of an assessment of the risks posed by the mineral, Linda Reinstein, president of the nonprofit advocacy group Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), told Bloomberg BNA Sept. 9 [2016].

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Source: EPA Asbestos Review May Trigger Probe of Chlorine Industry


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Asbestos exposure is still making people sick

Researchers at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are struggling to understand why younger populations continue to suffer asbestos-related medical issues despite efforts to reduce exposure from the toxic mineral.

According to a report released by the CDC on Thursday, numbers of deaths related to malignant mesothelioma increased from 2,479 in 1999 to 2,597 in 2015.

The largest increase was seen in those over 85 years old, but younger populations continue to be affected.

In those 16 years, 16,914 of the deaths were among people 75 to 84 years old. In the same period, 682 people between the ages of 25 and 44 died of mesothelioma-related problems.

“Although deaths among persons aged less than 35 years are of concern, we do not have information to understand potential causes,” said Dr. Jacek Mazurek, lead author of the CDC report.

Source: Asbestos exposure is still making people sick


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Mesothelioma deaths alert US to continuing asbestos exposure

A paper from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (Niosh) reveals that the latest data for deaths linked to mesothelioma show increases between 1999 and 2009. The trend was for both sexes and all ethnic groups, and the authors remark that the “continuing deaths of those aged less than 55 suggests continuing exposure to asbestos fibres”.

Continuing deaths from malignant mesothelioma, the lung disease associated with asbestos fibres, have alerted the US health authorities of the need for continuing efforts to prevent exposure…..

The US Geological Survey produced a commodity summary in January 2016, which says that the chloralkali industry accounted for 90% of US consumption of 360 tons in 2015. Its use by the industry is for diaphragms which separate anode and cathode products in chloralkali electrolytic cells. The remainder is used in coatings and compounds, plastics and roofing products.
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Source: Mesothelioma deaths alert US to continuing asbestos exposure


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Justices OK Expert Opinion on Asbestos, Seeing No Breach of ‘Any Exposure’ Ban

Experts testifying in asbestos trials need not compare the exposure of one defendant’s products to a plaintiff’s overall exposure, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled Nov. 22.

The majority reasoned that noncomparative testimony did not violate the ban against using “any exposure” causation theories.

The ruling affirmed the Superior Court’s decision, which upheld a $994,800 jury award out of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.

Justice Christine L. Donohue, who wrote the majority opinion in Rost v. Ford Motor, said plaintiff Richard Rost’s expert properly testified that Rost’s exposure to the defendant’s asbestos-containing products was substantial and alone could have caused Rost to develop mesothelioma. Having the expert quantify and distinguish exposure to the defendant’s products and compare that to every other exposure Rost had would create a nearly impossible hurdle for plaintiffs that doesn’t exist in other tort cases, Donohue said.

“Multiple asbestos-containing products may be substantial factors causative of a plaintiff’s mesothelioma. It is for the finder of fact, and not the courts, to make these determinations regarding substantial causation,” Donohue said. “The dissenting justices’ concern about whether the jury could understand whether the bucket of water was placed in a bathtub or an ocean misses the mark entirely, since Dr. [Arthur] Frank testified that Rost’s exposures at Smith Motors [where Ford’s asbestos-containing products were used], without more, were sufficient to cause his cancer.”

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SourceJustices OK Expert Opinion on Asbestos, Seeing No Breach of ‘Any Exposure’ Ban


 Mesothelioma, Asbestos, and Legal Compensation: Basic Facts

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Criminality and Asbestos in Industry

Criminal prosecutions of individuals in the asbestos industry are reviewed, particularly the case of asbestos owner-executive Stephan Schmidheiny. Italian courts sentenced Schmidheiny to sixteen to eighteen years in jail for creating an environmental disaster causing three thousand deaths. The convictions were overturned on a technicality, and a murder case against Schmidheiny has started. His firm, Eternit, made asbestos-cement building products in many countries. Schmidheiny directed a cover-up that the Italian Court of Appeal blamed for delaying the ban of asbestos in Italy by ten years. Today, the asbestos industry is a criminal industry, profiting only by minimizing its costs for the prevention and compensation of occupational and environmental illness. The asbestos industry should only be consulted by governments for the purpose of closing it and dealing with the legacy of in-place asbestos.

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Source: Criminality and Asbestos in Industry


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