New Study Finds Indirect Asbestos Exposure Can Raise Mesothelioma Risk for Sheet Metal Workers, According to Surviving Mesothelioma

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A long-term study of sheet metal workers suggests that many are at risk for asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma and asbestosis, even though they may not work directly with asbestos.

Study Links Sheet Metal Work with Mesothelioma

Sheet Metal Workers and Mesothelioma Risk

Significant excess mortality was seen for mesothelioma and asbestosis.

Researchers say working around asbestos-containing construction products may be the reason that so many sheet metal workers contract malignant mesothelioma. Surviving Mesothelioma has just posted the details of this new report on its website. Click here to read it now.

Scientists with the Center for Construction Research and Training monitored 17,345 sheet metal workers from 1986 to 2010 and found that a disproportionate number of them died of mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease.

“Significant excess mortality was seen for mesothelioma and asbestosis,” writes study author Laura Welch, MD.

The study, published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine, also found higher levels of lung cancer and COPD among sheet metal workers, even after adjusting for smoking.

“This study illustrates, once again, that heavy asbestos exposure is not necessary for mesothelioma to develop,” says Alex Strauss, Managing Editor of Surviving Mesothelioma. “It should be a warning for anyone who has ever worked in the vicinity of asbestos-containing products.”

For a better understanding of why sheet metal workers may be at special risk for mesothelioma, see Mesothelioma Risk High For Sheet Metal Workers, now available on the Surviving Mesothelioma website.

Welch, L, et al, “Mortality among sheet metal workers participating in a respiratory screening program”, February 24, 2015, American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 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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