Study Finds Exposure to Carbon Nanotubes May Raise Mesothelioma Risk, According to Surviving Mesothelioma

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Chinese researchers say the synthetic molecules used to make electronics and optics can behave like asbestos in the lungs of rats, raising their chances of developing mesothelioma.

Carbon Nanotubes and Mesothelioma

MWCNT-L…was found to translocate into the pleural cavity...and induce fibrosis and patchy parietal mesothelial proliferation lesions.

The cancer typically associated with asbestos exposure may also eventually be found to be caused by synthetic particles called multi-walled carbon nanotubes. Surviving Mesothelioma has just posted an article on some disturbing new research. Click here to read it.

Scientists at the Anhui Medical University College of Basic Medical Sciences in Hefei, China administered a spray containing one of two types of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) into the lungs of rats every two weeks for 24 weeks. The results were physiological changes consistent with development of mesothelioma.

“MWCNT-L…was found to translocate into the pleural cavity, deposit in the parietal pleura and induce fibrosis and patchy parietal mesothelial proliferation lesions,” notes lead author Dr. Jiegou Xu. These lesions can be precursors to mesothelioma on the pleural lining.

The study, published in Cancer Science, is a longer version of the team’s previous research which found that MWCNTs moved out of the lungs but not into the outer pleural layer. Now, Dr. Wu believes that study had simply been too short to see the full effects.

“This study is a sobering reminder for anyone who works with or around MWCNTs to take lung protection seriously,” says Alex Strauss, Managing Editor of Surviving Mesothelioma. An estimated 80 percent of mesothelioma cases today result from unprotected exposure to asbestos decades ago.

To read the details of the new study and learn more about effects of different types of nanotubes, see Carbon Nanotubes: A New Cause of Mesothelioma? available now on the Surviving Mesothelioma website.

Xu, J et al, “Size- and shape-dependent pleural translocation, deposition, fibrogenesis an mesothelial proliferation by multi-walled carbon nanotubes”, May 11, 2014, Cancer Science, Epub ahead of print,

For nearly ten years, Surviving Mesothelioma has brought readers the most important and ground-breaking news on the causes, diagnosis and treatment of mesothelioma. All Surviving Mesothelioma news is gathered and reported directly from the peer-reviewed medical literature. Written for patients and their loved ones, Surviving Mesothelioma news helps families make more informed decisions.

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