Workers And Their Families Exposed To Hazardous Asbestos Dust And Mesothelioma

Workers And Their Families Exposed To Hazardous Asbestos Dust And Mesothelioma

One group of people that have been particularly impacted by asbestos exposure is shipyward workers and their families.  Asbestos was so prevalent in the construction of ships because of its fire retardant qualities and durability.  During a ships construction, the workers would typically handle asbestos insulation products and consequently inhale large amounts of toxic dust.  Unfortunately, many of these workers have died because of this asbestos exposure.

One thing we can all do is try to raise public awareness about asbestos exposure and the link to lung cancer and mesothelioma.  One good study is called, “Asbestos exposure: factors associated with excess cancer and respiratory disease mortality.” By Henderson VL, and Enterline PE.  Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1979; 330:117-26.  Here is an excerpt:

“A cohort of 1075 men who completed their working lifetimes with an asbestos company, worked at a facility in the United States, and retired with a company pension during the period 1941–67 was updated for deaths through 1973. The average length of employment was 25 years, and all had been exposed to asbestos dust. Respiratory cancer and pneumoconiosis-pulmonary fibrosis mortalities were examined in relation to cumulative dust exposure and to other factors after taking into account cumulative dust exposure. Men who worked in the production of asbestos cement pipe exhibited a higher risk of respiratory cancer, as did men with some crocidolite asbestos exposure. Because these two groups overlap, we could not be certain that crocidolite asbestos was responsible for the increased risk. Men working in general plant maintenance displayed a striking lack of deaths due to pneumoconiosis-pulmonary fibrosis, as compared with production workers and with maintenance personnel assigned to specific departments. Five mesothelioma deaths were observed at age 65 and over. Three of these deaths occurred during the period 1970–3.”

Another good study worth looking at is called, “Asbestos-related pleural disease and asbestosis: a comparison of CT and chest radiography” by AC Friedman, SB Fiel, MS Fisher, PD Radecki, AS Lev-Toaff, and and DF Caroline – Department of Diagnostic Imaging, Temple University Hospital, Philadelphia, PA 19140.  Here is an excerpt:

“High-resolution CT (HRCT) has the ability to demonstrate both asbestos-related pleural disease and parenchymal abnormalities consistent with asbestosis. The role of CT in the diagnosis of asbestosis can be defined by comparing it with radiography. We evaluated 60 men who had a history of occupational exposure to asbestos and whose outside chest radiographs were considered abnormal. Chest radiographs (inside films) and HRCT were performed in all patients at our institution and were interpreted independently by experienced radiologists. Outside film results were compiled from the submitted reports. The final conclusion regarding the interpretation of the radiologic examinations was determined by consensus when disagreements existed. Positive predictive values (the likelihood that a positive report is correct) for pleural disease were: outside films 56%, inside films 79%, HRCT 100%. The positive predictive values for parenchymal disease were: outside films 51%, inside films 83%, HRCT 100%. The addition of HRCT to chest radiography is most useful in eliminating false-positive diagnoses of asbestos-related pleural disease caused by subpleural fat and false-positive diagnoses of parenchymal asbestosis in patients with extensive plaques or emphysema obscuring lung detail. The interpretation of chest radiographs in patients exposed to asbestos is often extremely difficult and subjective, and we recommend that positive findings (except calcified plaques) be confirmed with HRCT.”

This article should not be construed as medical advice.  Its purpose is to raise awareness.  If you found either of these excerpts interesting, please read the studies in their entirety.

Monty Wrobleski is the author of this article on asbestos exposure lawsuit, asbestos attorney, and mesothelioma attorneys

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