As U.S. officials continue to weigh a ban on asbestos, a team of international researchers has published a report on the “silent epidemic” of malignant mesothelioma and a warning about the ongoing global threat posed by the carcinogenic material.
Global Team of Researchers Report Grim Prospects for Asbestos-Related Diseases
Though most Americans believe that asbestos use was banned decades ago, the dangerous material continues to be used in the United States, leading to ongoing deaths from malignant mesothelioma, asbestosis, asbestos-related lung cancer and other illnesses. Though many countries have prohibited the use of the material, it continues to be widely used in other countries. Researchers Nico van Zandwijk of the Concord Medical School, University of Sydney in Australia, Glen Reid of the University of Otago in New Zealand, and Arthur L. Frank of Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania warn that more needs to be done to protect citizens.
The three researchers’ report on the global asbestos crisis was published in the journal Expert Review of Anticancer Therapy. Referring to the material as a “hidden killer”, the experts in medicine, public health, and pathology warn that there will soon be another wave of malignant mesothelioma in the countries where the material is still in use. They explain that millions of people are exposed on a daily basis, often with no knowledge of the danger.
Global Mesothelioma Deaths are Underreported
There are many things that make a global ban on asbestos a challenge. One is the fact that malignant mesothelioma is frequently undiagnosed and underreported in the countries where it is most widely used. Another is a lack of understanding about the true dangers of the material. Asbestos producers have put tremendous effort into a campaign suggesting that certain forms of the mineral are safe, an assertion widely decried by scientists.
In their conclusion, the authors look to medical professionals and public health experts to take action to put an end to future cases of malignant mesothelioma, writing, “Experts in oncology, respiratory medicine, occupational and public health, and basic researchers must take responsibility and acknowledge the ongoing silent epidemic of asbestos-related diseases. The call for a world-wide asbestos ban is more urgent than ever.”
If you or someone you love has been affected by mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net can help. Contact us today at 1-800-692-8608.