We remind people that asbestos and materials containing asbestos are still dangerous. While many asbestos industry apologists would like the public to believe the threat is long past, and that those claiming injuries today are engaging in fraud, merely trying to jump on the asbestos-claims bandwagon.
Sadly, asbestos continues to claim victims through its related diseases, like asbestosis and mesothelioma. While it used be prevalent among California shipyard workers who were exposed to the material during the construction and repair of ships, today some of those most at risk are construction worker who remodel older buildings that contain tons of asbestos laden materials.
Asbestos was frequently used in drywall, ceiling and floor tiles and concrete. Researchers in Spain report that people who lived downwind from a fibrous cement factory near Cataloina have higher rates of pleural mesothelioma. The plant closed in 1997, and researchers wanted to determine if proximity to the cement plant correlated with incidents of mesothelioma.
They found that those who lived within 500 meters of the plant suffered the most mesothelioma cases. Those who lived 2000 to 10,000 meters had the lowest incidence of the disease.
The study also concluded that wind direction around an asbestos site is an important factor in the transmission of the fibers, which would travel easily with a breeze. The predominant wind direction at the cement plan was southeast, and that quadrant was where highest incident rate occurred for victims of pleural mesothelioma.
Given that the plant has only been closed 15 years, its victims may remain unknown for many years. If you have ever lived near asbestos mine or a plant that used the material, you could be at risk for mesothelioma.
Source: Technorati, "Wind and Weather Impacts Mesothelioma Rate," June 5, 2013