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Prevention and Research

Asbestos and onset of mesothelioma: case report

Case report, 71 - 82
doi: 10.11138/PER/2013.2.2.071
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Asbestos is a mineral belonging to the group of fibrous silicates. Due to its remarkable resistance to high temperatures, its conformation in fibers and its very low cost, it was used until 1991 to produce materials able of withstanding high temperatures.
The silicates of asbestos in the solid matrix were widely used in construction, in engineering, in plumbing, in panels and sheets for ceilings, in plaster and as sound-absorbing material. Asbestos was also widely used in the manufacturing of household equipment, such as thermal insulation for high and low temperatures, flame retardant ducts, for the production of appliances with use of high temperatures (stoves, hair dryer, etc.), in the clutches brakes, in the baffle plate display screens in the seals, in the production of clothing protecting from heat (gloves, fireproof suits) and in furnishing resistant to elevated temperatures.
The exposure to atmosphere containing asbestos can be the cause of several diseases such as pulmonary asbestosis, mesothelioma and lung cancer.
The amphiboles are the most dangerous forms of asbestos, and the crocidolite among these is the one with the most neoplastic potential. However, the diagnosis of asbestos related occupational diseases is neither simple nor automatic, as a number of criteria are to be met, such as the study of immunohistochemical markers, and of biological and environmental monitoring, to assess an effective causal relationship. The knowledge about asbestos-related diseases and the diagnostic criteria have evolved over time, but it is still difficult to examine patients who have experienced clinically disease only in recent times, after 10-20 years from the last assumed exposure, due to the latency of the disease, particularly cancer.
We present here two case reports of malignant mesothelioma, of assumed asbestos-related occupational origin: their aetiology is debated in the light of literary overview. We analyzed all scientific knowledge about the relationship between human health and exposure to asbestos, since the beginning of its industrial use to the present day.
The leading scientific databases (Pubmed, Coch - rane, Embase, Tripdatabase) were surveyed to reconstruct how and when knowledge on the health hazards of asbestos exposure were published: a total of 13,551 publications were scrutinized. The key topics surveyed were: “Asbestos and health damage”, “Asbestos and Malignant Mesothelioma”.
The findings learned through our research were applied to the two cases under examination.
We found that diagnosis of the malignant mesothelioma attributed to the two patients is not certain because the diagnostic criteria suggested by international literature have not been strictly applied, both from the clinical point of view and from the histopathological and immuno-chemical level.

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  1. Asbestos and onset of mesothelioma: case report
    Caciari T., Casale T., Sancini A., Weiderpass E., Frati P., De Sio S., Sinibaldi F., Di Pastena C., Scala B., Buccisano P.F.M., Capozzella A., Di Giorgio V., Colasanti V., Marchione S., Penna M., Tomei F., Tomei G., Rosati M.V.
    doi: 10.11138/PER/2013.2.2.071