Second-hand mesothelioma for workers’ wives

A group of women whose husbands worked in the Eternit asbestos-cement factory in Casale Monferrato, Italy, were found to be disproportionately at risk for malignant mesothelioma, according to this 2007 study.

Of the 1780 women participating in the study in 1988, only 67% were alive in 2003. Doctors found that the risk of lung cancer was no different, but that the risk of malignant mesothelioma was “significantly increased.”

Dr.s Ferrante, Bertolotti, Todesco, Mirabelli, Terracini, and Magnani came to the conclusion that

Household exposure, as experienced by these AC [asbestos-cement] workers’ wives, increases risk for pleural MM [malignant mesothelioma] but not for lung cancer.

Household exposure affects children, wives, and anyone else in the same house as a person who comes in direct contact with asbestos. If asbestos dust is stuck to the person’s skin, clothes, or hair, another household member can easily inhale that dust.

As the study of the women of Casale Monferrato showed, safe working environments concern every part of a worker’s life–if he (or she) is not adequately protected from asbestos exposure, the lives of those closest to him are endangered along with his own.


February 22, 2011. Tags: , , , . Support Information. 1 comment.

Spouses/ Partners of Mesothelioma Victims

I called this blog “Mesothelioma Wives,” because so many of the cases of mesothelioma, the deadly cancer caused by asbestos exposure, have happened on the job, in fields where men are the majority, and so for years, spouses of mesothelioma sufferers were mostly women.

However, with more women serving in the military and taking on careers in nontraditional fields, husbands now have the unhappy option of being the spouse of a mesothelioma victim.

But even when women were not in the workplace in such great numbers, we were still vulnerable to mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related diseases. Women have developed mesothelioma from “second-hand exposure”–just being in the same room as her husband when he comes from work, and breathing in the toxic dust.

This blog exists for spouses, partners, family and friends of mesothelioma sufferers, and my hope is that it can be a place for information, news, anecdotes and advice. I would love contributors, so if you have an idea for a good blog post, please contact me or post about it in the comments.

February 21, 2011. Tags: , . Support Information. 1 comment.