Special Issue "Asbestos and Health"
A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Health".
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2020).
2. Department of Respiratory Medicine, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Nedlands, WA 6009, Australia
Interests: clinical and epidemiological aspects of respiratory diseases and cancer particularly occupational diseases and especially asbestos related diseases
"Asbestos" is a term applied to a group of minerals that have been widely used in construction and industry over the past century because of their physical properties: strong and indestructible fibers that are valuable for creating heat-resistant and resilient building sheets, and heat insulation for boilers and furnaces and other machinery. Exposure to airborne asbestos fibers occurs in its mining and transport, and during its use in industry and construction, most recently during the renovation or removal of existing asbestos structures, and environmentally from the deterioration of asbestos in situ.
The fibrous shape of air-borne asbestos particles determines their passage through the airways when they are inhaled and their resistance to clearance from the lungs when they have been deposited in the conducting airways or the gas-exchanging lung parenchyma as far as the pleura. They also disseminate in the body through lymphatic and circulatory pathways, where they persist. As a result of this they cause inflammatory and neoplastic responses in the airways and lung parenchyma and pleura: asbestosis, respiratory cancer of all varieties (especially in tobacco smokers), malignant mesothelioma (pleural and peritoneal), benign pleural effusions, and diffuse pleural thickening. Asbestos fibers are persistent in the tissues of the body, and the diseases that result from their inhalation often do not occur until years or decades have passed. Thus, the attribution of disease to asbestos exposure was slow to evolve and epidemiological studies have been critical to their understanding, and laboratory studies of asbestos exposure have contributed to understanding the process of carcinogenesis at a cellular level.
There has been an epidemic of litigation for asbestos-related disease compensation with legal implications, and the input of physicians and epidemiologists have been critical to the successful outcome of these legal cases.
Advances in chemotherapy and immunotherapy have recently been important in the treatment of asbestos-related malignancies and the extension of patient survival.
Prof. Arthur W. (Bill) Musk
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- Lung cancer
- Pleural effusion
- Pleural fibrosis/thickening