July 15, 2024

Medical Trend

Medical News and Medical Resources

Hidden Enemy for Navy Veterans: Asbestos and its Link to Lung Cancer

Researchers Identify Hidden Enemy for Navy Veterans: Asbestos and its Link to Lung Cancer



Researchers Identify Hidden Enemy for Navy Veterans: Asbestos and its Link to Lung Cancer

A collaborative study has revealed that naval personnel from the UK and Australia have a higher incidence of asbestos-related lung cancer compared to other branches of the military, potentially due to exposure to asbestos on ships.

This underscores the ongoing risks of asbestos and the importance of stringent protective measures against airborne hazardous substances.

The study indicates an increased rate of lung cancer among UK and Australian naval personnel due to asbestos exposure, highlighting the persistent risks of asbestos and the necessity for strict protective measures.

A joint study by the University of Adelaide and Oxford University found that the likelihood of asbestos-related lung cancer is higher among UK and Australian naval personnel compared to other armed forces, possibly due to exposure to asbestos on naval vessels. The data was collected from 30,085 individuals who served in the 1950s and 60s, a period when naval ships in the UK and Australia contained asbestos materials.

Researchers Identify Hidden Enemy for Navy Veterans: Asbestos and its Link to Lung Cancer


Asbestos Link to Lung Cancer

Previous studies by the University of Adelaide and the UK Health Security Agency focused on three out of four groups to determine the impact of radiation exposure from UK nuclear tests. However, among all the studied groups, naval personnel showed an increased incidence of mesothelioma, a cancer closely associated with asbestos exposure.

Inspired by this discovery, Dr. Richie Gun from the University of Adelaide and Dr. Gerry Kendall from Oxford University further examined the occurrence of lung cancer in the dataset, considering asbestos exposure as a potential cause.

Dr. Gun stated, “We found that naval personnel had an overall higher rate of lung cancer compared to other branches, and while smoking remains a major cause of lung cancer, the higher smoking rates in the navy cannot explain the excessively high lung cancer rates.”

Asbestos Exposure as a Significant Hazard

“Although actual measurements of asbestos content in the air were unavailable and challenging to estimate, we concluded that the higher rate of lung cancer among sailors is likely due to exposure to asbestos on ships,” Dr. Gun added. The cases of sailors dying from asbestosis, a condition caused by asbestos inhalation, strengthened this conclusion, despite it not being carcinogenic; it can cause disability and, in some cases, be fatal.

Researchers estimate that the proportion of lung cancer related to shipboard asbestos exposure is around 27% in Australian sailors and approximately 12% in British sailors.

While Australia has banned the import of asbestos-containing materials and rigorously regulates them, these materials still pose a threat to workers and some residents. According to the Dust Diseases Board of New South Wales, there were 142 cases of asbestosis and 111 deaths related to asbestosis during the 2021-2022 period.

Dr. Gun emphasized that the impact of asbestos exposure may be underestimated unless lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis are considered together. He stated, “While smoking is indeed a major cause of most lung cancers, other substances like asbestos can contribute to higher cancer rates in exposed populations. Additionally, combining smoking with asbestos exposure has a greater impact on lung cancer risk, leading to the observed excess in lung cancer.”

The discovery of the connection between asbestos exposure and an increased incidence of lung cancer serves as a timely reminder to implement protective measures to prevent exposure to other harmful airborne dust particles.

Dr. Gun concluded, “Strict control measures must be taken to protect workers who may come into contact with asbestos and other harmful dust, such as the dust generated from engineered stone now commonly used in many kitchens.”

Researchers Identify Hidden Enemy for Navy Veterans: Asbestos and its Link to Lung Cancer


(source:internet, reference only)

Disclaimer of medicaltrend.org


Important Note: The information provided is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as medical advice.