Paraoccupational Secondary Exposure
Family members and others living with asbestos workers have an increased risk of developing mesothelioma, and possibly other asbestos related diseases. This risk may be the result of exposure to asbestos dust brought home on the clothing and hair of asbestos workers via washing a worker's clothes or coming into contact with asbestos-contaminated work clothing. To reduce the chance of exposing family members to asbestos fibres, asbestos workers are usually required to shower and change their clothing before leaving the workplace.
A mortality study of 878 household contacts of asbestos workers revealed that 4 out of 115 total deaths were from pleural mesothelioma and that the rate of deaths from all types of cancer was doubled. Also, 11 cases of mesothelioma were diagnosed from 1995-2006 among individuals who had not worked at the vermiculite operations in Libby, Montana, but who had some other indirect association with those operations. Most had environmental exposure from living, working, or regularly shopping in Libby community; two were family members of vermiculite workers.
In other environmental exposures asbestos was released into the air and soil around facilities such as:
- Building demolitions,
- Factories handling asbestos,
- Power plants,
- Steel mills, and
- Libby vermiculite mine.
People living around these facilities have been also exposed to asbestos through their residence close to asbestos-using industries.
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