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New Study Compares Types of Asbestos Exposure

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A new study examines the development of malignant mesothelioma and different types of exposure. It cautions that environmental exposure is as deadly as occupational exposure to the development of malignant mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases.

Groups in the Study

Eight groups of patients in the study were known to be exposed to erionite asbestos through environmental causes. Erionite is can be found in the rocks that are used to build many homes in Turkey, where the study was conducted, and puts many residents and construction workers at risk of developing asbestos-related illness.

The other 13 groups were exposed to asbestos through their work only.

Results of the Study

Researchers found that how those diagnosed with mesothelioma in the study played a role in the development of the disease.

In the groups exposed through environmental factors, mesothelioma was found in a higher percentage of women. Alternatively, those exposed through occupational hazards, a higher percentage were men.

Among the environmentally exposed, the rate of the disease increased as time increased, but incidence appeared to decrease as exposure increased. Those occupationally exposed, the opposite seems true. The rate of malignant mesothelioma went up as exposure increased. This means that environmental exposure has its own risk of malignant mesothelioma different than those exposed occupationally.

Exposure in the US

Often in the United States, environmental exposure can include living near mines where asbestos was naturally occurring or harvested, living in close quarters with someone who may have brought it home on their clothing, hiking where asbestos is naturally occurring, or living in a home with disintegrating asbestos-containing materials.

Occupational exposure is often seen in construction workers, auto mechanics, miners, factory and refinery workers, boilermakers, pipefitters, veterans, and shipyard workers.

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