Many people who are diagnosed with mesothelioma contract the disease after exposure to asbestos in the workplace. Workers in industries such as construction are known to have a higher than normal risk of asbestos exposure, but the danger may also be lurking in some unexpected places. A recent study in Italy revealed that dental technicians working in the laboratory may have an elevated risk of developing mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma is a rare and deadly form of cancer affecting the lining of the lungs, heart, and chest cavity. It is caused by inhaling or ingesting asbestos particles, which can lodge in the chest and cause surrounding cells to die or mutate. There is no definitive method to screen for mesothelioma, so identifying risk factors such as asbestos exposure in the workplace can be critical in making a diagnosis. Patients suffering from mesothelioma have limited treatment options, and there is currently no cure.
Asbestos Used in Manufacturing Dental Prosthetics
Asbestos was a very popular material in the first half of the twentieth century, due to its heat resistance, low cost, and versatility. It was used in a wide range of products, including building materials such as insulation, cement, shingles, and floor and ceiling tiles. It was also used to bind periodontal dressings and line the casting rings used to make dental prostheses. Dental technicians who in the past worked with prostheses may be at risk for mesothelioma.
Italian Researchers Identified Link Between Dental Prostheses and Mesothelioma
The Italian study brought together experts in community and occupational health, preventive medicine, environmental science, and dentistry. The panel examined data, including asbestos exposure history, from 5,344 pleural mesothelioma patients in Lombardy, Italy from 2000 to 2014. Their findings were published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine and confirmed the link between asbestos materials used in the dental industry and malignant mesothelioma.
Out of the patients in this 14-year period, four of the mesothelioma victims were patients whereby their only known asbestos exposure was through working with dental prosthetics. Though the length of their exposure varied from as little as four years to as many as 34 years, all four were diagnosed with mesothelioma as a result of their dental lab work. One of the patients was not a laboratory technician herself, but had spent 30 years helping her husband produce dental prostheses.
Early detection is key for surviving mesothelioma. The research team recommends that workers in the dental industry learn the warning signs for mesothelioma, get regular medical exams, and ensure that their doctor has their complete work history. The disease can lay dormant in the body for decades after the initial asbestos exposure. Current and former dental technicians who suddenly develop unexplained symptoms should consult their doctor immediately.
Philadelphia Mesothelioma Lawyers at Shein Law Fight for the Rights of Workers Exposed to Asbestos
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or other asbestos-related disease, call the Philadelphia mesothelioma lawyers at Shein Law. Our knowledgeable, experienced lawyers will thoroughly review the facts of your case to determine who is responsible for your asbestos exposure and then fight for the compensation to which you are entitled. With offices conveniently located in Philadelphia and Pennsauken, we help asbestos exposure victims and their families throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Call us today at 1-877-SHEINLAW (743-4652) or contact us online to discuss your case with a dedicated member of our legal team.