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    Asbestos dust risk to wives

     

    Wives of men who work with asbestos are at risk of a type of lung cancer through second-hand exposure to the dust, according to researchers in Bristol.

     

    A study by the South West Public Health Observatory looked at the recorded occupations on death certificates of women who had died of mesothelioma and the occupations of their husbands.

     

    It found only one per cent of the women who had died worked in industries with a high risk of exposure to asbestos, while 23 per cent had husbands who were known to have worked in high-risk sectors.

     

    The finding backs up research by the Observatory which suggested a link between mesothelioma in women and exposure to husbands’ asbestos-contaminated work clothes.

     

    Dr Julia Verne, director of the South West Public Health Observatory, said: “Our findings support our own and others’ previously published work, which suggests that contact at home with clothes worn in working environments where there was a risk of exposure to asbestos may increase the risk of developing this disease in family members.

     

    “However, it is important to remember that mesothelioma is still an extremely rare disease in women, with just one in 100,000 women dying of the disease per year.  We now need to take this work further to collect more information on the actual risk of exposure.”

     

    Less than 20 per cent of people with mesothelioma survive, with most dying within a year.  It takes about 40 years from exposure to asbestos to the development of mesothelioma symptoms.

     

    “Bristol Evening Post” 2.3.07

    Humphreys & Co are pleased to support the North Bristol NHS Trust Mesothelioma Research Fund