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Nichol Associates

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Other Fibres Found To Increase Mesothelioma Risk

A French study suggests that two other types of particle used in industry may increase the risk of mesothelioma, particularly in people who are experience asbestos exposure.

Researchers in Bordeaux, France compared the cases of 1,199 male industrial workers with mesothelioma with 2,370 healthy industrial workers, paying extremely close attention to each worker’s level of exposure to asbestos, mineral wool and silica.

Mineral wool is a fibrous material made by combining slag, granite and other materials at high temperature. Mineral wool, like asbestos, is resistant to fire, rot and moisture. It is used in many of the same industrial applications as asbestos. Silica is used in the manufacture of glass and ceramics and as an additive to abrasives.

According to the French study, complete job histories were compiled for each study participant and their exposure to asbestos, mineral wool, and silica were assessed. Relevant adjustments were made for each person’s age, birth date and occupational asbestos exposure.

Unfortunately the news was not good for industrial workers. Researchers found “a significant association between mesothelioma and mineral wool exposure”, even after adjusting for occupational asbestos exposure.

It was found that, as with asbestos, the greater the exposure to mineral wool, the higher the risk for mesothelioma. For study subjects exposed to both asbestos and silica, the risk of mesothelioma was higher than for those exposed to asbestos alone.

The report concluded: “Our results are in favor of an increased risk of pleural mesothelioma for subjects exposed to both asbestos and mineral wool or asbestos and silica.”

Asbestos Insurance 2013

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