Thursday, February 14, 2008

Asbestos Exposure, Mesothelium Caused by Exposure To Asbestos Fibers

In this, and a series of articles that will follow, we will cover asbestos, what it is, how it's made, what it's used for, the health risks of asbestos exposure and how to protect yourself against asbestos. In this second article of a series we're going to cover the health risks associated with exposure to asbestos. Mesothelioma is a malignant tumor of the mesothelium caused by exposure to asbestos fibers.

Because of the devastating nature of the disease and because we are able to point to a single root source, asbestos exposure, there is significant reason for all individuals to take necessary precautions to avoid contraction of the disease. Second, is the long latency period between exposure to the cause of the disease, asbestos, and its onset. People who contract the disease must be absolutely sure that the cause for the same was asbestos exposure and then take steps to get the right legal counsel.

Many workers who work in the vicinity of asbestos are uninformed regarding the risk of mesothelioma, the disease resulting from asbestos exposure. Neighborhood asbestos exposure: Those who live in the vicinity of an asbestos manufacturing plant are also at risk. Mesothelioma law works on the premise that this exposure to an asbestos or related substance without prior knowledge has lead to the injury, and sometimes death of the asbestos mesothelioma sufferer.

One unique thing about this particular asbestos related injury is that it can take a very long time for the sufferer to realize that he or she has been affected. However, last researches to point out that a blood test could help screen for pleural mesothelioma by checking the blood for high levels of a protein called osteopontin, because blood esteopontin levels rise dramatically in the early stages of pleural mesothelioma, this kind of cancer is a deadly asbestos related illness. To say, the pleural mesothelioma was so difficult to detect its in early, high mortality rate and a life expectancy of few months, but with the new blood test there are higher percentage of probabilities to detect this kind of cancer, moreover its can detect or determine other kinds of asbestos related cancer.

In all of this beauty I suppose the asbestos mine was a blight, or cancer on the environment. Back in the 1920s, a large variety of medical articles showed that there was scarring on the lungs of asbestos factory workers. Further studies in the 1930s revealed that asbestos miners and factory workers were indeed dying of lung disease and cancer.

It was estimated that approximately 10 million workers had been exposed to asbestos by the year 1978 and that by 1970 25 million tons of asbestos had been used in building work across the USA. In the next 35 years it is estimated that over 1 million people will die from asbestos related diseases in developed countries. If your home was built during this time, there is a chance that asbestos may have been used, but just because asbestos exists in your home that does not mean that there is risk of developing any of the diseases related to it.

Due to the latency of asbestos diseases it is thought that we will be seeing many more incidences of mesothelioma in the next 25 years. Although science is not certain as to the exact mechanism which causes mesothelioma, it is thought that the asbestos fibers puncture the parenchyma, become lodged in the pleura, and by process of irritation create the change in the cells which causes the mesothelioma. Part of the tragedy of mesothelioma is that many asbestos companies or industries that used the material refused to acknowledge it is dangerous.

Even if the ancient wisdom had been lost, insurance companies were refusing to insure asbestos workers, or charging higher premiums for them by the 1920's. In order to address the mounting concerns about the legacy of asbestos, Senator Arlen Specter proposed a bill that would remove the ability of victims of mesothelioma to pursue legal settlements against the companies or industries that may be responsible. For more detailed information and procedures regarding the safe removal of asbestos products, search online or contact your local authorities for an up to date fact sheet.

Persons diagnosed with asbestos ailments can bring a court case against the manufacturers and suppliers of asbestos products, and to defend their claims through asbestos litigation attorneys who represent them in court proceedings related to asbestos exposure and damages. In our final article of this series we'll go over how to determine if you might have an asbestos related health problem and if so, what to do about it. In the next installment we'll go over the health risks from exposure to asbestos.

Life expectancy for sufferers of this malady generally varies from four to twenty-four months, depending on the point at which the disease is identified, the comparative health and vigor of the patient, and other aspects.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Asbestos Fibers, Chrysotile and Carcinogen

Asbestos Fibers, Chrysotile and Carcinogen

Chrysotile, a mineral used for asbestos, is a human carcinogen, though there has been considerable debate over whether its potency approaches that of amphibole forms of asbestos. Chrysotile is the dominant form of asbestos by far, and in the home it is generally harmless although asbestos workers must beware of lung disease due to chronic overexposure to the fine airborne fibers of powdered asbestos.

Chrysotile is introduced into water by the weathering of chrysotile-containing rocks and ores, in addition to the effects of industrial effluents and atmospheric pollution (Canada Environmental Health Directorate, 1979). Like the other two species of chrysotile (orthochrysotile and parachrysotile) it is very difficult to distinguish from the other species.

Before asbestos bans and warnings went into effect beginning in the mid 1970s, old products containing chrysotile asbestos were extremely friable, which means they crumbled easily with a little hand pressure and released large amounts of dust. Other products that include chrysotile asbestos include those classified as "friction" products, such as brake shoes, disk pads, and clutches for automobiles as well as elevators brakes.

Fibers are released during processing, installation and disposal of asbestos-containing products, as well as through normal wear of products in some instances. Fibers of various shapes are more likely than spherical particles to be deposited by interception, mainly at bifurcations.

The asbestos-cement industry is by far the largest user of chrysotile fibers, accounting for about 85% of all use. In the mining and milling industry in Quebec, the average fiber concentrations in air often exceeded 20 fibers/ml (f/ml) in the 1970s, while they are now generally well below 1 f/ml. One study indicated an increased level of chrysotile fibers in the urine of workers occupationally exposed to chrysotile.

Data from these types of studies, however, may not be suitable for the evaluations of human risk from inhalation exposure to fibres. Chrysotile fibers have been tested in several oral carcinogenicity studies.

A review of several studies of exposure levels to chrysotile during abatement of vinyl-chrysotile flooring found that very little airborne asbestos exposure occurs from this source. The fact remains that all forms of asbestos are carcinogenic, including chrysotile, and doctors and researchers have said again and again that no level of exposure is safe. Though the amphibole varieties of the mineral (such as amosite and crocidolite) are more likely to cause mesothelioma and other asbestos-diseases when inhaled, exposure to this serpentine variety carries the chance of developing cancer as well.

Environmental Health Criteria PREAMBLE Objectives In 1973 the WHO Environmental Health Criteria Programme was initiated with the following objectives: (i) to assess information on the relationship between exposure to environmental pollutants and human health, and to provide guidelines for setting exposure limits; (ii) to identify new or potential pollutants; (iii) to identify gaps in knowledge concerning the health effects of pollutants; (iv) to promote the harmonization of toxicological and epidemiological methods in order to have internationally comparable results.

  • Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is caused by chrysotile, anthophyllite, amosite, and crocidolite asbestos in asbestos workers who smoke cigarettes. Lung fibrosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma have been definitely correlated with exposure to airborne respirable fibres of asbestos. Since the body cannot dissolve or dispose of the amphibole fibers they cause a scarring of the lungs, called asbestosis, or cause a cancer of the lining (pleura) of the lung, called mesothelioma.

Analyses of human lungs of workers exposed to chrysotile asbestos indicate much greater retention of tremolite, an amphibole asbestos commonly associated with commercial chrysotile in small proportions, than of chrysotile. In many cases, therefore, risks have not been calculated, and cruder indicators have been used, such as absolute numbers of cases and deaths, and ratios of mesothelioma over lung cancers or total deaths. The epidemiological evidence that chrysotile exposure is associated with an increased risk for cancer sites other than the lung or pleura is inconclusive.

It is considered that the potential respiratory health effects related to exposure to fiber aerosols are a function of the internal dose to the target tissue, which is determined by airborne concentrations, patterns of exposure, fiber shape, diameter and length (which affect lung deposition and clearance) and biopersistence.