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Communities At High Risk In The Third Wave Of Mesothelioma

E. Emmett, Brigid Cakouros
Published 2017 · Geography

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In this chapter, we describe and discuss communities that have a high incidence of mesothelioma. These communities are part of a third wave of asbestos exposures and consequent asbestos-related diseases (ARD). Many of the current paradigms applied to ARD arose to address the first and second waves associated with mining and the industrial use of asbestos, respectively. We examine the lessons from a number of communities where there is an elevated risk of mesothelioma not restricted to specific occupations: Wittenoom, Western Australia, where crocidolite was mined; Libby Montana where amphibole asbestos contaminated vermiculite was mined and processed; Broni Italy, and Ambler Pennsylvania where asbestos-cement products were manufactured; and Karain in Cappadocia Turkey where the asbestiform mineral erionite occurs naturally. In these communities, in addition to occupational exposures, paraoccupational, residential, and environmental lifestyle asbestos exposures appear to contribute to the mesothelioma burden. Finally, we discuss a number of issues germane to non-occupational community mesothelioma risk: age and gender distribution of non-occupational mesothelioma; prevention appropriate to the third wave; shortcomings of the regulatory definition of asbestos; vulnerable groups in the community; diffuse administrative responsibility; diverse community attitudes to risk and prevention; difficulties in quantifying exposures and justifying remediation actions; surveillance, diagnostic and care requirements in high-risk communities; legal responsibilities and compensation for nonoccupational ARD; the application of epidemiology to third wave high-risk communities; differing expressions of ARD from community exposures; and estimating the magnitude of the third mesothelioma wave.
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