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Dutch Study Assesses Asbestos Exposure Dangers

Two Dutch researchers, Dr. Paul Baas and Dr. JA Burgers of AVL/NKI Cancer Center in Amsterdam, have recently published the results of a study they conducted that involved nearly 60,000 Dutch construction workers over a twenty one year period. The pulmonologists’ results, which were published in a recent edition of the Journal of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, provided confirmation of research that had been previously done regarding the effects and risks of different levels of exposure to asbestos, as well as of the exacerbating impact of smoking cigarettes.

In summarizing their results, the two researchers indicated that the more asbestos exposure a person experiences, the higher their risk of being diagnosed with laryngeal cancer, lung cancer, and mesothelioma, an always fatal form of cancer that develops in the lining of the lungs and peritoneum.

Writing initially for a Dutch medical Journal, Baas and Burgers noted, “The risk of development of lung cancer was higher for anyone with increased years of exposure to asbestos fibre combined with a smoking habit.” Though this is not surprising, it still is of concern to any workers that have had exposure to the toxic fibre without having been provided with the appropriate breathing apparatus or protective clothing.

On a positive note, the research indicated that for those who are in the general public, and not exposed to the carcinogen in the same way that those who breathe the dust on an occupational level, run a lower risk of contracting one of the asbestos-related illnesses, even if they do have an exposure to asbestos. It is important to take note that the risk is not non-existent, and that even those in the public who do not have frequent exposure have a greater risk of becoming sickened by the asbestos if they are smokers.

One of the best ways that those who are in the general public can avoid one of these critical diagnoses is to ensure that they are not exposed to asbestos at all. Homeowners are advised not to attempt to remove asbestos themselves if they are undertaking renovation work in their homes, and instead should use the services of a certified asbestos removal professional. In the United States, specific guidelines have been established specifically for this reason.

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer is an independent writer, editor and proofreader. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Her dreams of a writing career were diverted by a need to pay her bills. She spent a few years providing copy for a major retailer, then landed a lucrative career in advertising sales. With college bills for all three of her kids paid, she left corporate America for a return to her original goal of writing. She specializes in providing content for websites and finds tremendous enjoyment in the things she learns while doing her research. Her specific areas of interest include health and fitness, medical research, and the law.

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