Category: Asbestos

Descriptions of asbestos

RET Lung Cancer

Lung Cancer

This is a type of cancer that starts in the lungs. It is a leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. There are two main types of lung cancer: non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and small cell lung cancer (SCLC). NSCLC is the most common type, accounting for about 85% of all cases, while SCLC is less common but tends to be more aggressive. Smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer. Other risk factors include exposure to secondhand smoke, radon gas, asbestos, and certain environmental and occupational hazards. The best way to prevent lung cancer is to avoid smoking and exposure to tobacco smoke. It’s also important to minimize exposure to other risk factors like radon and asbestos. As with any cancer, the outlook for lung cancer varies depending on the stage at which it’s diagnosed. Early-stage lung cancer has a better prognosis than late-stage cancer.

Symptoms of Lung Cancer

Common symptoms of lung cancer can include a persistent cough, chest pain, shortness of breath, coughing up blood, fatigue, unexplained weight loss, and recurrent respiratory infections. Lung cancer is typically diagnosed through imaging tests like X-rays and CT scans, as well as through biopsy, where a tissue sample is taken for examination.


Treatment options for lung cancer depend on the type, stage, and overall health of the patient. Common treatments include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy.

Genetic Factors and Mutations

Lung cancer can be influenced by genetic factors, including mutations or errors in transcription, although it is often more strongly associated with external risk factors such as smoking and environmental exposures.

Most cases of lung cancer are caused by acquired genetic mutations in the DNA of lung cells. These mutations can be caused by exposure to carcinogens, such as those found in tobacco smoke, radon gas, or workplace chemicals.

Mutations in the EGFR (epidermal growth factor receptor) gene are more commonly found in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Certain drugs, called EGFR inhibitors, are used as targeted therapies to treat NSCLC with specific EGFR mutations.

ALK Rearrangements: Some lung cancers have rearrangements in the ALK (anaplastic lymphoma kinase) gene. Targeted therapies known as ALK inhibitors are used to treat these specific types of lung cancer.

In a small percentage of cases, lung cancer may be associated with inherited genetic mutations. For example, individuals with a family history of lung cancer or certain rare genetic syndromes, like Li-Fraumeni syndrome or hereditary retinoblastoma, may have an increased risk of developing lung cancer.

It’s important to note that while genetic factors play a role in the development of lung cancer, environmental factors, particularly smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke, remain the leading causes of this disease. Smoking cessation and reducing exposure to environmental carcinogens are essential steps in preventing lung cancer. Additionally, early detection through regular screenings, such as low-dose CT scans for high-risk individuals, can help identify lung cancer at earlier, more treatable stages.

RET Lung Cancer

There are two main types of RET genetic alterations, or errors in the gene.  RET alterations, which can lead to the development of various cancers, including thyroid cancer and lung cancer, are categorized into two main types: RET point mutations and RET rearrangements (gene fusions).

RET point mutations can be thought of as places where the DNA is misspelled. RET rearrangement or gene fusions are when a piece of DNA joins with another gene and creates a fusion. This fusion leads to uncontrolled cell growth and cancer. This is the most common RET gene error in lung cancer.

In RET Rearrangements (Gene Fusions) a portion of the RET gene becomes fused or joined with another gene, leading to the creation of a fusion gene. This fusion gene, in turn, produces a protein that can drive uncontrolled cell growth and the development of cancer. In lung cancer, RET gene fusions are relatively common, and they are considered oncogenic drivers, meaning they play a significant role in the initiation and progression of the cancer.

Identifying the specific type of RET alteration in a patient’s cancer is crucial for determining the most appropriate treatment strategy. In cases of RET gene alterations in lung cancer, targeted therapies such as RET inhibitors have shown promise in effectively managing the disease in some patients.


Mesothelioma and lung cancer are both types of cancer that affect the respiratory system, but they are distinct diseases with different origins and characteristics.

Mesothelioma is a cancer that originates in the mesothelial cells, which are the protective lining around organs such as the lungs, heart, and abdomen. The most common form of mesothelioma is pleural mesothelioma, which affects the lining of the lungs (pleura). It is primarily caused by exposure to asbestos, a fibrous mineral once used in various industries. There are also peritoneal mesothelioma (affecting the lining of the abdomen), pericardial mesothelioma (affecting the lining of the heart), and rare cases of testicular mesothelioma.
Lung cancer, on the other hand, originates in the lung tissue itself, typically in the cells lining the air passages or in the lung parenchyma (the functional part of the lung). The primary risk factor for lung cancer is tobacco smoking, although other factors such as environmental exposures can also contribute. Lung cancer is typically classified into two main types: non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and small cell lung cancer (SCLC). NSCLC is the more common type.

Risk Factors

Exposure to asbestos is the primary risk factor for mesothelioma. It can take several decades after exposure for the disease to develop, whereas smoking is the leading risk factor for lung cancer, and it is responsible for the majority of cases. Other risk factors include exposure to secondhand smoke, radon gas, air pollution, and occupational exposures to carcinogens.


Treatment approaches for mesothelioma and lung cancer differ due to their distinct origins and characteristics. Mesothelioma is typically treated with a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy, and in some cases, targeted therapies. Lung cancer treatment varies depending on the type and stage, and it can include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapies, and immunotherapy.

In summary, mesothelioma and lung cancer are both cancers that affect the respiratory system, but they have different origins, risk factors, and treatment approaches. Mesothelioma is primarily associated with asbestos exposure, while lung cancer is strongly linked to smoking. RET lung cancer affects probably 1 – 2% of cases. Early diagnosis and personalized treatment plans are essential for both diseases to improve outcomes for affected individuals.


Asbestos – What It Is is a natural mineral that can be harmful if you’re exposed to it. It’s a fibrous mineral that comes in different forms and is often found in various construction materials. The most common form is chrysotile, which has white or blue fibers. It’s also used in paint, plumbing, and sealants.

When you’re exposed to asbestos, it enters your air passages. While most of the fibers are removed by the body’s natural defenses, some may lodge deep in the lungs and remain there for years. In some cases, these fibers will never be removed from your body, so it’s important to prevent asbestos from entering your lungs.

Because of its unique chemical and physical properties, asbestos is very difficult to break down. It has a high heat and electricity resistance, and its fibers are very flexible. Asbestos has been used in many industries, including construction, oil and gas, and building materials. Homeowners and DIYers have also been exposed to asbestos through various construction materials and household products. Even children’s toys have been found containing asbestos.

Exposure to asbestos can lead to lung diseases like asbestosis and lung cancer. The asbestos fibers lodge in the lungs, irritating tissue and making breathing difficult. Asbestosis symptoms can vary from mild to severe and can take years to appear. Smokers are especially vulnerable to the disease, because cigarette smoke irritates lung passages and makes it difficult to expel the fibers.

Asbestos is common in older buildings that were constructed before the year 2000. This mineral was used in a variety of construction materials, including cement pipe, floor tiles, ceiling tiles, and more. It was also used in heating systems, boilers, and brake linings. Asbestos-containing products have been banned in the European Union since 2005.

Some healthcare providers offer Medicare coverage for patients suffering from asbestos-related illnesses. Others may qualify for compensation from workers’ compensation programs. The Federal Employees Compensation Program, Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Program, and State Workers Compensation Programs cover medical bills for those who were exposed to asbestos during their employment. In addition, some people may be eligible for care at VA medical centers.

Asbestos samples should be tested for presence before any repair work. Asbestos repair materials are specially made to seal off damaged areas and prevent asbestos fibers from spreading. These products can be purchased at specialty stores. Removal of asbestos is the most costly method and should be the last option in most cases. This material can be difficult to remove, so be sure to use protective equipment while performing the removal.

The risks associated with asbestos are not well-known by the general public but construction workers NEED to be aware of them. Asbestos is found in many consumer products, including building materials. However, it can be dangerous if inhaled, even if you’re exposed to a small amount. However, if you’ve been exposed to asbestos for a long time, the risk is much higher.

Avoiding Asbestos in Lath and Plaster to asbestos can result in the development of various types of cancer, including lung cancer, mesothelioma, and pleural effusion. Lung cancer is a deadly form of cancer caused by the abnormal growth of lung tissue. Asbestosis is a condition caused by the prolonged inhalation of asbestos fibers. Asbestosis causes breathing difficulties, chest pain, and coughing. Pleural effusions are fluid-filled sacs in the lungs and abdominal walls. Asbestos can cause any of these diseases, and this is why it is vital to avoid asbestos exposure.

While asbestos plaster is not a health risk when in good condition, crumbling laths or plaster or water damage can release asbestos fibers. Leaving undamaged plaster alone is best. It can be encapsulated if necessary and possible. If it needs to be removed or modified, it is best to contact an asbestos inspector who has government approval and does not work for a company that has a vested interest in removing asbestos. The inspector should be well-trained and free of any conflict of interest. This will ensure the safety of the property and of the family living in it.

Lath and plaster asbestos was once used in many buildings to increase fire-resistance and insulate the walls. Unfortunately, this practice placed many people at risk of asbestos-related diseases, including mesothelioma. Asbestos particles can become airborne and be inhaled by people who worked with the material. People who mixed the powder with plaster are at the highest risk of developing mesothelioma. Old plaster, that is crumbling can also release fibers.

Asbestos was commonly used in plaster building materials between 1940 and 1990. Even though it is now banned, older buildings may still contain asbestos plaster. Even today, some plaster can contain 1% of asbestos, which makes it an asbestos-containing material. It was commonly used in fireproof walls, such as those found in elevator shafts. Asbestos cement is not toxic unless it contains a significant amount of asbestos.

Before beginning renovations, be sure to wear protective gear. This includes safety goggles, ear plugs, and a hard hat. Asbestos-containing materials can settle into ventilation systems, which can harm people if they accidentally turn the ventilation back on. Also, make sure to turn off power and water before working on the walls or ceilings. By doing so, you’ll greatly reduce the chances of injury. So, before you begin the renovation process, take all precautions to avoid exposure to asbestos or lead.

Dangers of Exposure to Asbestos you’ve worked around asbestos, you may be wondering what the dangers are. Exposure to asbestos can cause a wide variety of diseases, including mesothelioma. This deadly cancer affects the lining of your chest, abdomen, and lungs. Early warning signs include fluid buildup around the lungs, cough, and fatigue. As with all cancers, the most effective treatment for asbestos-related disease is prevention.

Old buildings often contain asbestos, including decorative ceilings. Some patching compounds and textured paint also contain asbestos, which is a common ingredient in building materials. Although asbestos use in new construction was banned in 1977, homes and buildings constructed before that date may still contain asbestos. Also, vinyl floor tiles and sheet flooring contain asbestos.

Asbestos is a known carcinogen, so it’s important to take precautions to prevent exposure to asbestos. While there are no symptoms of asbestos exposure in most people, it’s important to know how to protect yourself from this dangerous substance. Asbestos fibers are easily released when plaster breaks, cracks form in walls, and walls become damp and damaged. It’s important to address asbestos exposure immediately in these cases, but don’t worry if you’ve never been exposed to it. You never know when you might have an asbestos-related incident, so it’s crucial to stay vigilant about regular health checkups and notify your health care provider of any exposure.

When you’re exposed to asbestos, your body will absorb fibers, usually, by breathing them in, making the lungs the most likely site of any problem and causing you to develop symptoms. Asbestos is toxic in small doses, and the longer you’re exposed to it, the worse your health will become. It’s important to seek proper medical care if you suspect that you’ve been exposed to asbestos in your home. It’s especially important to take precautions to protect yourself and your family.

If you’re not sure what your symptoms mean, ask your family doctor. Inhalation of asbestos fibers can cause cancer. Even if a person is exposed to low-level amounts of asbestos in the air, they can still cause lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis. If you’ve smoked in your lifetime, you’re even more likely to be affected by asbestos because cigarette smoke irritates your respiratory tract. When contaminated food or liquids contain asbestos, it’s likely that you’re swallowing the fibers in the product.

If you’re renovating or remodeling an older building, asbestos exposure is a serious concern. Asbestos fibres can become airborne when disturbed. Contractors must take appropriate precautions to minimize the risk of asbestos contamination. You should hire licensed asbestos abatement contractors who are licensed to work in your area. If you are unsure of their background and experience, check with your local air pollution control board, worker safety agency, and the Better Business Bureau.

Asbestos Cases and You is a naturally occurring silicate mineral found in a variety of materials including brake linings, asbestos roofing tiles, and fireproofing. There are several types of asbestos, including chrysotile, amphibole, and crocidolite. All six of these types are formed from the same naturally occurring mineral. There are six forms, which comprise both short and long fibers, each fiber consisting of multiple microscopic particles, which are released into the air by abrasion, compression, and other physical processes.

When asbestos is exposed to the air, airborne particles are inhaled, which then become deposited in various tissues throughout the body. Over time, these particles accumulate in various parts of the body, where they can cause health problems for individuals. Asbestos particles can become lodged in the lung tissue and cause serious health risks. Once inside the lungs, the asbestos fibers break down the lining of the lungs, exposing the lungs to asbestos dust and causing mesothelioma. Asbestos dust is commonly breathed in through inhalation of microscopic asbestos fibers, which can become lodged in the lining of the lungs, and is often times trapped in the lungs without the individual ever knowing it.

Individuals who work with asbestos materials on a regular basis, such as a person who constantly works with old asbestos materials or an individual who has worked in a landfill with asbestos, have a greater chance of developing the illness.

There are many different health effects associated with asbestos. The main concern with individuals exposed to the material is that the cancerous cells in their lung tissue can begin to form. Mesothelioma, which is the most common form of asbestos lung disease, begins to form slowly over time. However, this disease has been known to begin to manifest quickly, especially in individuals who were exposed to the material in significant amounts for extended periods of time. This is due to the fact that asbestos fibers stay in the lungs for long periods of time and when inhaled or ingested into the body. Over time, the cancerous cells begin to grow and move to other parts of the body.

Another one of the major health effects associated with asbestos is asbestosis. Asbestosis is the buildup of scar tissue in the lungs, and it is often times mistaken for lung cancer. It is actually the covering of the lungs, which have become thickened and damaged from the asbestos exposure. Some of the most common symptoms of asbestosis include shortness of breath, chest pain, coughing, and wheezing. Other less common symptoms of asbestosis include memory loss, and even damage to the eyesight.

Exposure to asbestos is not only dangerous to the individual who has developed the condition, but also to everyone around them, including family members. There are cases known, for instance, of a wife developing asbestosis after washing her husband’s work overalls over a period of time.

Asbestos is known to cause a wide range of negative health risks, including asbestosis, lung cancer, pleural plaques in the lungs, and mesothelioma. Because of the wide range of health risks that are associated with asbestos exposure, it is extremely important to make sure that anyone who works with this material or who is remodelling a home with it is aware of the hazards. In many parts of the world only registered contractors can work with asbestos.

There are many things that an individual can do to ensure that they are safe from the dangers of this material. Following these safety tips is highly recommended.  The U.S. Consumer Protection Division has made provisions for allowing individuals to file lawsuits related to the dangers of asbestos exposure. For more information regarding this matter, consumers should visit their website. They will be able to obtain additional information about asbestos causes, as well as various asbestos lawsuits that have been filed in recent years. In addition, they will be able to find services and assistance to assist with filing a lawsuit, and will be able to advise individuals on the best way to protect themselves from this deadly material.

How to Choose the Right Asbestos Mask For a Job

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We are all familiar with the term “When working on old buildings, get an asbestos mask and earmuffs.” We have undoubtedly heard this said many times over, but how much do we really know about them? Do we know when they should be used? If you are working in an old building, then you MUST do a proper risk assessment of the possibility of asbestos being present because only then can you choose which type of protective equipment is necessary for health and to prevent exposure to asbestos fibers.

Breathing in asbestos fibers can cause mesothelioma, a type of lung cancer caused by asbestos. But it’s not only important to protect the lungs – asbestos dust can also affect the eyes. In some countries, only licensed workers can work with asbestos and home owners or unlicensed workers should not attempt to remove or do work on anything that could contain asbestos.

Full face dust masks are the best bet when working with asbestos. The filters protect both the lungs and the eyes. These filters are of the type FFP3, which protects against particles and dust. Paper dust masks do not filter out asbestos dust and fibers and should not be used. Eye protection is needed in case of falling debris or particles released into the air from work, including on low level items, such as floor tiles.

An asbestos mask, or “dust mask”, is usually made from thick plastic or vinyl. There are many different kinds of respirators available, but for general protection, the most common ones are powered air purifying respirators. These are the ones that you will find being used by asbestos workers everywhere. A “fit” test should be carried out on any respirator bought, to ensure it fits correctly. Facial hair may make it difficult to obtain a good seal. Make sure you get training on how to fit any respirator. If you have never used one before, you may need to talk to your medical adviser about whether you can use a respirator as they make the lungs work harder. Physical work on top of this may mean some people cannot use respirators.

An asbestos mask can be of two types. Firstly, a “full faced” or full-faced respirator which provides protection from both airborne particles and vapors. The second type is called a “half faced” or “mouth-blown” respirator. It only provides protection from airborne particles and does not cover the eyes.

It is very important that people who work with asbestos materials must wear protective clothing and masks at all times when asbestos is present. This includes people who perform asbestos-related jobs like cutting, drilling, or building sheet rock. The correct masks and protective clothing need to be worn at these jobs, as the fibers from the damaged or friable asbestos can get into the skin and can lead to serious health problems as well as into the lungs and eyes. All of these dangers must be avoided, so one needs to choose the right asbestos mask for the job.

In addition, workers with asbestos need to wear a full disposable body covering, including with feet. This clothing is removed once work is over and disposed of at the work site, along with other asbestos containing material.


Image by/from Mewtu

Transite originated as a brand that Johns Manville, an American company, created in 1929 for a line of asbestos-cement products, including boards and pipes. In time it became a generic term for other companies’ similar asbestos-cement products, and later an even more generic term for a hard, fireproof composite material, fibre cement boards, typically used in wall construction. It can also be found in insulation, siding, roof gutters, and cement wallboard. The more prevalent transite found in wall construction and roofing tiles for example, will last anywhere from 50 years to over 100 years.

The use of asbestos, a proven carcinogen, to manufacture transite was phased out in the 1980s. It was replaced by crystalline silica, which the International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified as being carcinogenic to humans (Class 1). Crystalline silica is also known to cause silicosis, a non-cancerous lung disease.

Originally, transite had between 12-50% of asbestos fiber added to a cement base to provide tensile strength (similar to the rebar in reinforced concrete), and other materials. It was frequently used for such purposes as furnace flues, roof shingles, siding, soffit and fascia panels, and wallboard for areas where fire retardancy is particularly important. It was also used in walk-in coolers made in large supermarkets in the 1960s, 1970s and even the 1980s. Other uses included roof drain piping, water piping, sanitary sewer drain piping, laboratory fume hood panels, ceiling tiles, landscape edging, and HVAC ducts. Because cutting, breaking, and machining asbestos-containing transite releases carcinogenic asbestos fibers into the air, its use has fallen out of favor. Despite asbestos-containing transite being phased out, it is still not banned in the United States; some 230,000 deaths have been attributed to it. Demolition of older buildings containing transite materials, particularly siding made from transite, requires special precautions and disposal techniques to protect workers and the public.

The transite that is produced today is made without asbestos. Transite HT and Transite 1000 are currently available fiber cement boards that contain crystalline silica, which the International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified as being carcinogenic to humans (Class 1). Crystalline silica is also known to cause silicosis, a non-cancerous lung disease.

Curated with thanks from Wikipedia


Image by/from Didier Descouens

Tremolite is a member of the amphibole group of silicate minerals with composition: Ca2(Mg5.0-4.5Fe2+0.0-0.5)Si8O22(OH)2. Tremolite forms by metamorphism of sediments rich in dolomite and quartz. Tremolite forms a series with actinolite and ferro-actinolite. Pure magnesium tremolite is creamy white, but the color grades to dark green with increasing iron content. It has a hardness on Mohs scale of 5 to 6. Nephrite, one of the two minerals of the gemstone jade, is a green variety of tremolite.

The fibrous form of tremolite is one of the six recognised types of asbestos. This material is toxic, and inhaling the fibers can lead to asbestosis, lung cancer and both pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma. Fibrous tremolite is sometimes found as a contaminant in vermiculite, chrysotile (itself a type of asbestos) and talc.

Tremolite is an indicator of metamorphic grade since at high temperatures it converts to diopside.

Tremolite occurs as a result of contact metamorphism of calcium and magnesium rich siliceous sedimentary rocks and in greenschist facies metamorphic rocks derived from ultramafic or magnesium carbonate bearing rocks. Associated minerals include calcite, dolomite, grossular, wollastonite, talc, diopside, forsterite, cummingtonite, riebeckite and winchite.

Tremolite was first described in 1789 for an occurrence in Campolungo, Piumogna Valley, Leventina, Ticino (Tessin), Switzerland.

One of the six recognized types of asbestos. Approximately 40,200 tons of tremolite asbestos is mined annually in India. It is otherwise found as a contaminant.

Curated with thanks from Wikipedia

Why the Deadly Asbestos Industry is Still Alive and Well

Deadly Asbestos

This video covers Russia and the USA and shows that the dangers of asbestos are not being taken seriously, or if they are, still very little is being done about them at a top level.

Why might this be? Well, one of the major sayings when it is difficult to find an answer to something happening that seems nonsensical is to “Follow The Money”. That means that you should look at the situation to see whether someone could  be making money from things staying as they are. (It follows on from the French saying, “Cherchez la femme”, which means to look for the woman behind what a man is doing!) You may also know the saying as “Money Talks”, that is, if money is available for doing or not doing something, it is likely that it will or will not be done, no matter how serious or nonsensical the situation.

Where might the money be in relation to asbestos?

  1. There is nothing as good and cheap as asbestos when it comes to fireproofing and insulating. Manufacturers still want to use it. If they cannot use it in developed countries, they will use in less developed countries.
  2. The countries or companies that own the deposits of asbestos want to make money from them.
  3. There are large deposits of asbestos available and the mines that extract it provide jobs and incomes in some remote areas, where no other jobs are available.

The Real Story of Asbestos

How Did We Find Out About Asbestos

How long have we known it’s dangerous to health?

This short video provides the answers.