How does exposure to asbestos affect the worker’s family? This study found bad news

by Brianna Crandall — May 17, 2017 — Researchers in Trieste, Italy, have released their findings on mesothelioma deaths among people who had a family member in an asbestos industry. The Surviving Mesothelioma Web site, which gathers and reports news directly from peer-reviewed medical literature, has published a new article on the study.

Asbestos worker

New report offers a sobering reminder that living in a household with someone who works around asbestos can be deadly.

The report from the University of Trieste used data from an Italian Mesothelioma Register to determine that laundering clothes, touching equipment, or even hugging someone who has worked with asbestos can result in a diagnosis of malignant pleural mesothelioma decades later.

Lead researcher Flavia D’Agostin writes:

Our data confirms that household exposure increases the risk for pleural mesothelioma amongst women with no history of occupational asbestos exposure. This is an ongoing problem in many countries.

According to the report in the International Journal of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health, wives of workers were at highest risk, but mesothelioma was also identified in children and mothers.

Surviving Mesothelioma Managing Editor Alex Strauss points out:

We typically associate mesothelioma with occupational asbestos exposure, but, as this study illustrates, there are many ways to be exposed, some of which are easy to overlook.

To read more about mesothelioma risk and family members, see Mesothelioma Risk in the Families of Asbestos-Exposed Workers, now available on the Surviving Mesothelioma Web site.

The report by D’Agostin, F, et al, “Pleural mesothelioma in household members of asbestos-exposed workers in Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy,” May 8, 2017, International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, pp. 419-431, is available online.