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Erionite Exposure and Mesothelioma

Although it has long been thought that mesothelioma is caused by only one thing — exposure to asbestos — as more and more research has been done it has been revealed that other materials that break down into pointy, fine fibers and are inhaled or ingested are causing mesothelioma as well. Carbon nanotube exposure is being closely watched, and now a study has been done that looks at the impact of a mineral called erionite that has been blamed for many mesothelioma cases.

The study was a joint project of researchers in the country of Turkey and the states of Florida and Ohio. Because of the increase in the number of erionite-induced mesothelioma cases being seen in both the United States and in Europe, they created a study aimed at identifying the differences between mesothelioma caused by asbestos and mesothelioma caused by erionite. Their goal was to detect differences in the disease’s clinical presentation, as well as in whether there should be modifications made in terms of treatment or diagnosis.

Erionite is found naturally in the soil, and its composition is very similar to that of asbestos. The group indicated that when they analyzed 33 different mesothelioma studies that had been done in the past, as well as ongoing studies and case reports, they were able to identify a number of mesothelioma patients who had never been exposed to asbestos, and were therefore more likely to have had their mesothelioma caused by erionite. They found that those suffering from erionite-induced mesothelioma were in worse condition than those suffering from asbestos-induced mesothelioma, and that the erionite incidence had a higher likelihood of appearing in more than one member of a family.

According to study author Elamin Elamin, MD of the University of South Florida’s Critical Care Medicine and Sleep Department, “Erionite has a higher degree of carcinogenicity with possible genetic transmission of erionite susceptibility in an autosomal dominant fashion.” He said that their study also indicated that while high levels of exposure were seen in most cases, they also found that low levels of exposure could have the same impact.

Erionite is found in several areas around the world, including in Turkey, where the substance is prevalent in rocks that have previously been utilized to build homes, and in the roadways of North Dakota, where gravel containing the material has been used in paving projects.

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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