Industrial Usage of Asbestos Leads to Serious Health Consequences to Workers

Industrial Usage of Asbestos Leads to Serious Health Consequences to Workers

Asbestos is a mineral that has been used in thousands of products. When it is mined, processed, or otherwise manipulated asbestos can be broken into tiny fibers that are released into the air.  When inhaled, these fibers can cause cancer.  One interesting study that examined lung tissue samples in workers is called, “A Pathological and Mineralogical Study of Asbestos Related Deaths in the United Kingdom in 1977″ by J. C. Wagner, F. D. Pooley, G. Berry, R. M. E. Seal, D. E. Munday, J. Morgan and N. J. Clark – Ann. occup. Hyg., Vol. 26, No. 3, pp. 423-431, 1982 – Here is an excerpt: “Lung tissue samples from Pneumoconiosis Panel cases comprising workers whose deaths were considered to be asbestos-related and from controls exposed to different levels of urban pollution were examined histologically and analysed for mineral fibre content. The Panel cases had on average about 100 times more amphibole fibres in their lungs than the controls, but the amounts of chrysotile were similar. Considering the much greater industrial usage of chrysotile, this points to lower deposition and/or more rapid elimination of chrysotile from the lungs. There was a clear association between asbestosis grade and amphibole, but not chrysotile, content in the Panel cases; the amount of amphibole was similar for those with mesothelioma, those with lung cancer and those with neither of these tumours. “

Another interesting article is called, “Asbestos induces inflammatory cytokines in the lung through redox sensitive transcription factors” by Michael I. Luster and Petia P. Simeonova -  Toxicology Letters Volumes 102-103, 28 December 1998, Pages 271-275.  Here is an excerpt: “Abstract – Studies are summarized demonstrating that the inflammatory cytokines, interleukin IL-6 and IL-8, play a direct role in asbestos lung diseases and are produced by lung epithelial cells in direct response to the fibers. This response is controlled by changes in the cellular oxidative/state induced by iron present in the fiber through Fenton-type chemistry. As a result of this oxidative stress, the redox sensitive transcription factors, NF-κB and NF-IL-6, which help regulate cytokine gene expression, are activated.”

Another interesting study is called, “The silence: the asbestos industry and early occupational cancer research–a case study.” By D E Lilienfeld – Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine, New York, NY 10029 – American Journal of Public Health, Vol. 81, Issue 6 791-800.  Here is an excerpt: “To gain insight into corporate activities regarding the identification of occupational carcinogens earlier in this century, the actions of one industry, the asbestos industry, were reviewed. This industry, in concert with many of its insurers, systematically developed and then suppressed information on the carcinogenicity of asbestos. The development of warnings for those exposed to the asbestos was delayed. As a result, millions of workers were exposed to the carcinogen and hundreds of thousands died. These events are placed into the context of similar activities in other industries during this time.”

Another interesting study is called, “Mesotheliomas and asbestos type in asbestos textile workers: a study of lung contents.” By J C Wagner, G Berry, F D Pooley – Br Med J (Clin Res Ed)  1982;285:603-606 (28 August) – Here is an excerpt: “The asbestos contents of the lungs of former employees of an asbestos textile factory were determined at necropsy using a transmission electron microscope. Those who had died of mesothelioma were compared with a matched sample of those who had died of other causes. The predominant fibre processed in the factory was chrysotile, but crocidolite had also been used. The lung content was consistent with the known exposure to chrysotile, but the crocidolite content was also high, being about 300 times that of the general population of the United Kingdom. The lungs of those with mesothelioma did not contain more of either chrysotile or crocidolite than the lungs of the controls, so no particular type of asbestos could be implicated in causing the mesotheliomas. The evidence of substantial exposure to crocidolite means that the mesotheliomas that occurred in this factory could not be attributed with any certainty to the exposure to chrysotile.”

If you found any of these excerpts, please read them in their entirety.  We all owe a debt of gratitude to these researchers.

Monty Wrobleski is the author of this article.  For more information please click on the following links  Mesothelioma Lawyer,

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