Literature Review 

Report by Laurie Kazan-Allen



From Italy:

Malignant Mesothelioma of the Pleura and Other Malignancies in the Same Patient
by Claudio Bianchi, Tommaso Bianchi and Lucia Ramani
Tumori, 93: 19-22, 2007

An analysis of 215 Italian cases of malignant pleural mesothelioma identified additional malignancies in 32 patients including prostate adenocarcinoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma or chronic lymphocytic leukemia, kidney carcinoma, large bowel carcinoma and liver cell carcinoma. Pleural plaques were found in 26 cases, 21 of which were shipyard workers.

Pointing out that “an etiologic role of asbestos has been proposed for various other tumors… including carcinomas arising in large bowel, in kidney, liver, larynx, stomach as well as lymphoid malignancies,” the authors ask whether “asbestos had some relevance also in the etiology of the tumors co-existing with mesothelioma” in this study.

Malignant Mesothelioma Global Incidence and Relationship with Asbestos
by Claudio Bianchi and Tommaso Bianchi
Industrial Health 2007, 45, 379-387

National mesothelioma mortality varies with Australia, Belgium and Great Britain at the top of the league table with crude incidence rates of mesothelioma at about 30 cases/million. This paper lists rates for 35+ countries, compiled from various data sources. The authors point out that the lack of data on mesothelioma mortality is widespread: “epidemiology in Central and Eastern Europe has been for (a) long time ill defined. Also at present, data are not available for large countries, Russia and Ukraine.” The information vacuum which continues in many asbestos-consuming countries is a significant obstacle to the accurate perception of asbestos risk .

An Estimate of Pleural Mesothelioma Incidence in Biancavilla, Sicily, Italy 1998-2004
by Caterina Bruno, Stefano Belli, et al
Eur J Oncol, vol 12, n.3, pp. 183-187, 2007

Nineteen people from the town of Biancavilla, who were exposed to asbestos-like fluoroedenitic fiber liberated during the local quarrying of Monte Calvario stone, were diagnosed with mesothelioma between 1998-2004. Recommendations to reduce hazardous exposures were adopted which included terminating quarrying operations, removing contaminated dust sources from the town center and paving over roads previously covered with local soil.

From the Netherlands:

New Asbestos Developments in The Netherlands
by Yvonne Waterman, Mealey's International Asbestos Liability Report, Vol 5. #7 2007

The author discusses recent landmark judgments against Eternit, a huge asbestos multinational, which have expanded the categories of claimants able to claim compensation for asbestos injuries to include third parties such as environmental victims, consumers, do-it-yourself handymen and small business entrepreneurs.

From Spain:

The Tragedy of Asbestos and the Spanish Right [Title in Spanish: La tragedia del amianto y el Derecho espanol; written in Spanish]
by Albert Azagra Malo
ISBN(13) 9788496758117, Published Barcelona 2007

The wave of asbestos disease and litigation which materialized in the United States in the second half of the 20th century has reached Europe. Emerging epidemics of asbestos-related disease in France, Germany and the UK have placed substantial demands on judicial systems and have highlighted the ability or inability of tort law to dispense compensation to seriously injured parties; alternative means of delivering financial redress, such as no-fault schemes, are explored.

From the U.S.:

Incidence and Descriptive Epidemiology of Mesothelioma in the United States, 1999-2002
by Theodore Larson, Natalia Melinikova, et al.
Int J Occup Environ Health 2007; 13:398-403

Incidence data from the National Program, of Cancer Registries and the Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results Program were used to calculate national age-adjusted rates of mesothelioma:

“The U.S. incidence was 1.11 cases per 100,000 persons. Most cases occurred among older, white males. However 173 cases (<2%) occurred in persons younger than 40. The proportion of women with peritoneal mesothelioma was triple that of men (14.8% vs. 5.4%. Of 40 reporting states, 11 had incidence rates significantly higher than the national rate.”

From India and the U.S.:

The Global Asbestos Struggle Today
by Barry Castleman and Tushar Kant Joshi
Eur. J. Oncol, vol. 12, n.3, pp. 49-154, 2007

A lack of national programs and policies to prevent hazardous exposures to asbestos produces a climate in some developing countries which encourages the increasing use of asbestos even though major international agencies agree that exposure to asbestos can be deadly. Within the discussion of the current situation in India, situations typical of developing economies are explored such as: the lack of good governance, the frequency of high levels of hazardous exposures and the role of asbestos trade associations in pressurizing regional and national authorities to maintain a pro-asbestos status quo.

November 17, 2007



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