Lung Cancer Due to Asbestos a World Wide Concern
Even though investigations have found the incidence of occurrence of asbestosis, a lung condition, in the Libby, Montana area to be higher than the U.S. national average for the period from 1979-1998, it has nothing on the Nahariya, Israel or Genoa, Italy. Genoa, is the leader of world lung cancer cases due to Asbestos.
Dr. Micha Bar-Hana, director of the Health Ministry's cancer registry, presented yesterday at a conference at Rabin Medical Center. His presentation included the information that Nahariya, a northern coastal city of Israel, and the surrounding area has one of the largest concentrations in the world of people with mesothelioma. The prevalence of the disease in this area reached 5.72 per 100,000 residents between 2002 and 2008. The overall total number of patients for the period was 19.
As with Libby, Nahariya was once home to an asbestos plant. The plant was shut down in 1997.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer list the areas of Genoa, Italy as the location which has the highest rate of asbestos-related cancer cases in the world. The area has 5.8 cases for every 100,000 persons.
Mesothelioma develops several decades after exposure to asbestos, most often 20 - 40 years after exposure. The vast majority of cases involve persons who worked with the toxic material, but can be seen in family members who were exposed to the asbestos brought home on the workers clothing.