When asbestos companies are faced with mesothelioma lawsuits, they frequently defend themselves by trying to cast blame elsewhere. They assert that their asbestos did not cause the illness, and speak of alternative causes for the rare and fatal form of cancer, hoping that juries will be distracted or confused. One of these theories claims that mesothelioma might be caused by low-dose occupational radiation exposure, but a recent study analyzing decades worth of medical records has shut that notion down.
Data Analysis Experts Reviewed Mesothelioma Mortality Within Radiation-Exposed Cohorts
The study, which was conducted by experts from the International Epidemiology Institute and the International Epidemiology Field Station for Vanderbilt University Medical Center, set out to examine the risk of mesothelioma within cohorts of workers who had been monitored for exposure to radiation. These workers included industrial radiographers at shipyards, workers at nuclear power plants, and industrial radiographers who did not work in either of those environments.
All 253,632 of those workers had been regularly monitored for radiation exposure, so a high number of mesothelioma deaths in those with significant radiation exposure would have provided a scientifically-based link between the two. Instead, what they found was that the only statistical increase in mesothelioma deaths in the group was found in those who had worked in asbestos-contaminated environments.
Elevated Mesothelioma Risk Only Found in Work Environments With Asbestos Exposure Potential
In comparing the number of mesothelioma deaths that occurred between radiation-exposed workers in shipyards and nuclear power plants versus radiation-exposed workers in environments not associated with asbestos, the researchers only found increased standardized mortality rates among those working in the same environments where workers had died of asbestosis.
They concluded that the lack of “evidence of a rising trend in mesothelioma mortality with increasing radiation exposure suggests that the mesothelioma (and asbestosis) excess in these workers was due to asbestos exposure in shipyards and power plants and not to occupational low-dose radiation.
Occupational exposure to asbestos is one of the top causes of malignant mesothelioma. If you have been diagnosed with this rare and fatal form of cancer and you need information, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net today at 1-800-692-8608.