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In a new study penned by a group of Italian researchers, it was determined that the risk of developing mesothelioma does not decline up to several decades after exposure ceases, unlike with lung cancer, where there is a clear indication of a decline in risk after about 25 years since last exposure. This finding verifies the fact that victims of asbestos exposure have an equal chance of developing this form of mesothelioma 50 years after exposure as they do 20 or 30 years after being exposed. The same has been proven true for pleural mesothelioma, the most common form of the disease.

Developing Mesothelioma - brake liningThis finding verifies the fact that victims of asbestos exposure have an equal chance of developing this form of mesothelioma 50 years after exposure as they do 20 or 30 years after being exposed. The same has been proven true for pleural mesothelioma, the most common form of the disease.

In the Italian study, recently profiled in the journal Cancer Medicine, 1,977 individuals with heavy asbestos exposure were followed. All of the test subjects – 1083 women and 894 men – were textile workers. The study has been going on for quite some time but the latest report includes mortality rates and reasons updated to the end of 2013.

PIra et al obtained information about causes of death through population registers and death certificates from local authorities, they explain in the synopsis of the most recent update to the study. In their statistics, they also considered exposure to asbestos outside the factory in question, which was located in Northern Italy.

The main type of asbestos used at this textile factory was chrysotile though, in some instances, workers were also exposed to crocidolite. The proportion of one to the other was not readily known so the percentage of exposure to each type was not immediately clear.

Textile workers in the U.S. were also long exposed to asbestos on the job. As a matter of fact, they remain high on the list of those most likely to develop mesothelioma. Asbestos was once used abundantly in the textile manufacturing industry, particularly from the earlier decades of the 20th century until about 1975-1980.

Mill workers were most often exposed to asbestos through the raw materials that were carded and then spun into yarn and eventually woven into a variety of products. Those who were/are most at risk for developing mesothelioma are the individuals who worked in textile mills that manufactured fireproof materials such as welding blankets, roofing felts, stage and other fireproof curtains, oven mitts and pot holders, and safety clothing for industries where employees were at high risk for burns, such as chemical and oil refineries or steel mills.

Asbestos may have also been found inside large drying machines, in fabric-weaving machinery, or elsewhere in the facilities. For example, in old factories, asbestos was often used for insulation for boilers, generators, engines, and other high-temperature machinery. For that reason, maintenance workers were among those most often exposed.

Today, textile workers around the world are still being diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases, including mesothelioma, even decades after exposure ended, as the aforementioned study has indicated. Sadly, many of the companies for which they worked were aware that asbestos was causing harm yet they continued using the material.

Now, the only recourse possible is the option of filing suit in a court of law in the hopes of obtaining compensation to cover loss of wages, medical expenses, and other costs associated with aggressive cancers like mesothelioma.

 

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