Study Finds Historical Dust Levels for Drywall Workers Likely Exceeded Current Mesothelioma Safety Standards, According to Surviving Mesothelioma

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Chicago study finds DIYers among the groups most likely to be exposed to mesothelioma-causing asbestos dust.

Asbestos Dust Exposure in Drywall Workers

Drywall Work May Raise Mesothelioma Risk

Mean 8-h TWA concentrations of respirable dust and chrysotile fibers are numerically highest for specialists...

Researchers say drywall specialists who have worked in older buildings tend to breathe in more dust than is currently considered safe and the exposure could raise their risk for deadly malignant pleural mesothelioma. Surviving Mesothelioma has just posted the story on their website. Click here to read it now.

Scientists with ENVIRON International Corporation in Chicago collected information on groups of workers exposed to drywall dust. Until the mid-1970s, most drywall was put up using joint compound that contained asbestos, the leading cause of mesothelioma.

“On a task basis, we found mean 8-h TWA concentrations of respirable dust and chrysotile fibers are numerically highest for specialists, followed by generalists, DIYers, and bystander tradespersons,” writes lead author Fred Boelter.

According to the report in Risk Analysis, concentrations of mesothelioma-causing dust are estimated to be higher than the current safety standards.

“Because we still do not know how much asbestos it takes to trigger mesothelioma, a study like this one is a reminder, especially to DIYers, that we all need to be diligent about limiting exposure to drywall dust,” says Surviving Mesothelioma’s Managing Editor, Alex Strauss.

To see what other groups of people the study finds may also be at risk of mesothelioma from drywall dust, see Dusty Job May Raise the Risk of Mesothelioma, available now on the Surviving Mesothelioma website.

Boelter, FW, “Comparative Risks of Cancer from Drywall Finishing Based on Stachastic Modeling of Cumulative Exposure to Respirable Dusts and Chrysotile Asbestos Fibers”, November 25, 2014, Risk Analysis, Epub ahead of print. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25428276

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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