Study Links Asbestos Exposure In the United Kingdom to Rates of Mesothelioma and Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

asbestos mesothelioma lung cancer asbestosis

A recent article that appeared in the British Medical Journal tracked the overall mortality from respiratory diseases like mesothelioma and asbestosis in the years between 1985 to 2015 and found that though the rates have been decreasing, there is still a marked gap between the number of deaths in the United Kingdom and other, similar countries.

Though the researchers intend to investigate further to determine whether those differences may be attributable to variations in the economies, healthcare systems or health behaviors of each country surveyed, those who study mesothelioma believe that the issue is simply that more asbestos was used in the United Kingdom than in other countries forty years prior.

Centre for Workplace Health, Science Division, Health and Safety Executive, Buxton, UK say that the results are in keeping with their own research linking the incidence of mesothelioma and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis to historic asbestos exposure in the United Kingdom, and particularly with a 48-year time lag between the nation’s peak import of asbestos and the diseases’ incidence.

UK Researchers Link Rate of Mesothelioma and Other Diseases to Historic Use of Asbestos

In their response to the new article, the researchers from the Fishwick Centre remark that they found a significant association between the incidence of mesothelioma and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, even though the two diseases are not normally related.

The one thing that they found to link the parallel rise in incidence of the two diseases is the coincidental rise in the use of asbestos in the United Kingdom. To support their theory, the researchers have noted several facts, including the following:

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  • Occupational asbestos exposure was very common in the United Kingdom
  • There is no known threshold of exposure for asbestosis, mesothelioma, or idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis

Author: Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer is an independent writer, editor, and proofreader. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. She specializes in providing content for websites and finds tremendous enjoyment in the things she learns while doing her research. Her specific areas of interest include health and fitness, medical research, and the law.