Sunday, September 13, 2009

About Pleural Mesothelioma | Mesothelioma of The Pleura : Symptoms, Diagnosis

Pleural mesothelioma is the most common type of mesothelioma, a rare cancer that develops in the mesothelial cells that make up the mesothelium, a membrane that lines many of the body’s organs and cavities. In the case of pleural mesothelioma, the cancer develops in the lining of the lungs, called the pleura or pleural membrane.

Pleural Mesothelioma

The pleura is comprised of two layers which provide support and protection for the lungs and chest cavity. The outer layer, or the parietal layer, lines the entire chest cavity and the diaphragm. The inner layer, or visceral layer, covers the lungs. Fluid between these two membranes allows them to slip against one another as the lungs expand and contract. Pleural mesothelioma typically develops in one layer, but can metastasize, or spread, to the other layer.

normal lung anatomy

Sometimes doctors refer to this disease as mesothelioma of the pleura. Mesothelioma is a cancer of the serous membranes. These membranes enclose a number of organs throughout the midsection of the body, including the lungs. The most common type of mesothelioma, pleural mesothelioma, affects the serous membranes of the lungs.

When mesothelioma spreads to the lungs from the serous linings of the lungs, abdomen or heart, it is considered secondary lung cancer. Also, pleural mesothelioma is sometimes referred to as an asbestos lung cancer. Technically, cancers that do not originate in the lungs are not considered lung cancer; thus, terms such as secondary lung cancer and asbestos lung cancer (pleural mesothelioma) are misleading. Asbestosis is a type of asbestos lung disease that does originate in the lungs and is often confused with mesothelioma.

Like all mesothelioma cancers, pleural mesothelioma is caused by asbestos exposure and develops when the toxic asbestos fibers become trapped in the spaces between the mesothelial cells.

Pleural Mesothelioma Symptoms

Pleural mesothelioma patients display all three types of mesothelioma cancer cells: epithelioid mesothelioma, sarcomatoid mesothelioma and biphasic mesothelioma.

Once trapped in the body, asbestos fibers cause cancerous cells to divide abnormally, resulting in the thickening of the pleural membrane layers and mesothelial cells, causing build-up of fluid (called pleural effusion). The fluid begins to put pressure on the lungs and the respiratory system in general, preventing normal breathing.

Symptoms of pleural mesothelioma are largely caused by these developments and may include the following:

- Persistent dry or raspy cough

- Coughing up blood (hemoptysis)

- Difficulty in swallowing (dysphagia)

- Breathlessness (dyspnea)
Shortness of breath that occurs even when at rest. Along with shortness of breath, patients may suffer from a cough. Rarely, patients may develop hoarsness or cough up blood (hemoptysis).

- Chest pain
Chest pain is often nonspecific, and may sometimes be felt in upper abdomen, shoulder, or arm. Chest pain and breathlessness are the most common, and usually earliest presenting, symptoms of pleural mesothelioma. Persistent pain in the chest or rib area, or painful breathing.

- Pleural effusion
A pleural effusion is the result of too much fluid building up between the parietal and visceral pleura (linings of the chest and lungs, respectively); a pleural effusion may cause chest pain and difficulty breathing (dyspnea), however, many cause no symptoms and are first discovered during the physical examination or seen on a chest x-ray.

- Development of lumps under the skin on the chest

- Night sweats or fever
Less common, but still cited enough to be considerd a symptom of pleural mesothelioma are fever, chills, and night sweats.

- Weight Loss
Unexplained weight loss is cited as a symptom in about a third of pleural mesothelioma cases.

- Fatigue

Pleural Mesothelioma Diagnosis

As with other types of mesothelioma, pleural mesothelioma is difficult to diagnose since symptoms do not typically arise for some time after initial asbestos exposure occurs. Additionally, since the symptoms of pleural mesothelioma are typical of many illnesses, in the early stages of the cancer the symptoms are often mistaken for less threatening diseases such as influenza and pneumonia.

X-rays or CT-Scans are often used to diagnose pleural mesothelioma.
A pleural mesothelioma diagnosis is made partly on the basis of symptoms but additional diagnostic tests are needed to confirm the presence of cancer. Following a medical history review and physical examination, patients must typically undergo imaging tests, such as x-rays or CT scans, to confirm the location of cancer. A patient must also usually endure fluid and tissue tests, also known as biopsies, to confirm the type of cancer involved.

Pleural effusions and peritoneal effusions are experienced by two-thirds of patients. Hemothorax - the collection of blood in the pleural cavity - also is a symptom. To get a diagnosis, doctors use imaging technologies as well as histological analysis and molecular biologic analyses. A pleural smear examines a sample of pleural fluid under the microscope to detect for abnormal organisms. The test is performed when infection of the pleural space is suspected or when an abnormal collection of pleural fluid is noticed by chest X-ray. Sometimes the tumor grows through the diaphragm, making the site of origin difficult to assess.

Top left, A: posterior-anterior chest radiograph in a patient with malignant pleural mesothelioma demonstrating significant right-sided pleural effusion and diffuse pleural thickening associated with marked volume loss of the right hemithorax. No definite pleural plaques are seen. Top right, B: CT image from a patient with a right-sided pleural mesothelioma, illustrating complete encasement of the ipsilateral lung with a thick rind of tumor, neoplastic invasion of the interlobar fissures, small residual pleural effusion, and marked unilateral volume loss. Center, C: MRI with transaxial, sagittal, and coronal views from a patient with a right-sided pleural mesothelioma. MRI may be most beneficial in the determination of chest wall, mediastinal, and diaphragmatic invasion. Bottom, D: PET scan with 18-FDG in the same patient as in center panel (C) with transaxial, sagittal, and coronal views. 18-FDG PET scanning in mesothelioma can aid in tumor staging, localization of biopsy sites, and distinguishing between pleural fibrosis and active malignant tissue. (resource : chest journal)

Pleural Mesothelioma Treatments

In general, pleural mesothelioma patients have three options: surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Typically, patients will receive a combination of two or more of these types of treatment.

Read More about Pleural Mesothelioma Treatments

Asbestos: The Primary Cause

Inhaling asbestos fibers is the primary cause of pleural mesothelioma. Other factors such as genetics, smoking, and exposure to the simian virus (which contaminated some older polio vaccines) may predispose some people to develop mesothelioma when exposed to asbestos. Some individuals exposed to asbestos for a prolonged period do not develop mesothelioma or asbestosis.

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that was widely used in various industries and construction because of its fire-retarding and insulating properties. Since the 1980s, its use in industry and consumer products has been more regulated and some U.S. legislators would like to ban it entirely.

Serpentine and amphiboles are the two main forms of asbestos. Chrysotile asbestos, which is most commonly used in commercial products, is the only type of serpentine. Amphiboles are divided into five main types: actinolite, amosite, anthrophyllite, crocidolite, and tremolite.

Serpentine fibers are flexible and curly. Amphiboles have long, thin fibers and are thought to be a greater cancer risk than serpentine fibers, but exposure to either serpentine or amphibole asbestos is dangerous.

How Asbestos Exposure Occurs

People who worked for an extended period of time in an environment where asbestos dust was regularly released are at greatest risk for pleural mesothelioma. The body's natural defense mechanisms successfully clear many asbestos fibers, but when asbestos exposure is heavy, these defense systems are overwhelmed. Mucus within the airways traps asbestos fibers and other toxins that are inhaled. These trapped foreign particles are either swallowed or coughed up.

These fibers travel to the lungs and become imbedded in the lung lining, outside of the lungs and inside the ribs. These long, pointed fibers can reach the pleural lining of the chest wall and lung. Once the fibers have penetrated the pleura they injure the mesothelial cells. When these jagged particles settle in the pleura, they cause inflammation. The inflammation, in turn, can lead to dangerous cancerous tumors. In some cases, those who've inhaled asbestos fibers will first develop the less-severe asbestosis, followed by mesothelioma several years later.

Upon diagnosis, patients usually exhibit multiple tumor masses affecting both the visceral (further from the lung) and parietal surfaces (closer to the lung) of the pleura. The parietal surface is more often affected than the visceral surface, and the right lung, due to its larger size, often suffers more damage than the smaller left lung. In addition, more asbestos tends to settle in the lower lungs than the upper lungs.

These tumors often grow quickly in size and can cover the entire lung cavity, making it very difficult to breathe and causing excruciating pain. Also, in the advanced stages of pleural mesothelioma, the cancer may spread to other nearby organs, including the heart, abdomen, and lymph nodes.

The tissue changes leading to mesothelioma occur slowly. The symptoms of mesothelioma generally do not appear for 20 to 30 years after the initial asbestos exposure. A latency period of up to 50 years has been known.

resource :
- allaboutmalignantmesothelioma


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Friday, August 28, 2009

Type of Asbestos | The Resource of Asbestos Exposure

The term "asbestos" refers to six fibrous minerals that have been commercially exploited and occur naturally in the environment. The U.S. Bureau of Mines has named more than 100 mineral fibers as "asbestos-like" fibers, yet only six are recognized regulated by the U.S. government. This is largely due to influential lobbying by the asbestos and stone industries, which powerfully shaped how the public perceives asbestiform minerals.

The six asbestiform minerals recognized by the government include, tremolite asbestos, actinolite asbestos, anthophyllite asbestos, chrysotile asbestos, amosite asbestos, and crocidolite asbestos. Each of these minerals is categorized into two groups, serpentine and amphibole. Chrysotile asbestos is the only member of the serpentine group and the others belong to the amphibole group. The difference between these two groups is characterized by the physical components of the asbestos fibers. The serpentine group is made up of minerals that have a layered form and curly fibers and the latter group contains minerals that have straight fibers with a chain-like structure.

In order to fully understand the importance and function of these minerals, it is necessary to examine each mineral in more detail.

Chrysotile Asbestos

Chrysotile asbestos is better known as white asbestos and is made up of fine, silky, flexible white fibers. Chrysotile consists of minerals crystallized in a serpentine pattern, which means its crystals are formed in sheets. This is the most common type of asbestos comprising approximately 95 percent of all asbestos commercially used in the United States. Due to the widespread use of this fiber, chrysotile accounts for the majority of asbestos-related health problems throughout the world.

Chrysotile, as well as other forms of asbestos, is considered to be a human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Asbestos exposure is associated with parenchymal asbestosis, asbestos-related pleural abnormalities, mesothelioma, and lung cancer, and it may be associated with cancer at some extra-thoracic sites.

Tremolite Asbestos

Tremolite is a relatively common mineral found in most metamorphic rocks. Its color ranges from a creamy white to dark green. Tremolite asbestos has been used for industrial purposes (though not as much as chrysotile) and has been identified as an ingredient in some household products, primarily talcum powder (which is also a known carcinogen). This form of asbestos is the major asbestiform contaminant of the infamous vermiculite mine in Libby, Montana.

The Mineral Tremolite:

* Chemistry: Ca2Mg5Si8O22(OH)2 , Calcium Magnesium Silicate Hydroxide.
* Class: Silicates
* Subclass: Inosilicates
* Group: Amphibole
* Uses: Asbestos and as a mineral specimen.

Tremolite is a relatively common mineral in some metamorphic rocks. It occurs from the conversion of dolomite, silica and water into tremolite, calcite and carbon dioxide

A fibrous variety of tremolite is used as asbestos. This material is toxic and inhaling the fibers can lead to asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma.

Actinolite Asbestos

Actinolite Asbestos

Actinolite asbestos is a relatively common mineral existing in metamorphic rocks. This type of asbestos is usually green, white, or gray and it is closely related to the aforementioned tremolite mineral (actinolite contains a greater presence of iron over magnesium than tremolite).

Actinolite is composed of the elements calcium, magnesium, iron, silicon, oxygen, and hydrogen.

Scientists and medical professionals have confirmed that actinolite and other forms of asbestos are human carcinogens. Exposure to these minerals can lead to the development of asbestos-related cancers, such as lung cancer and mesothelioma cancer.

In addition to these sources of actinolite asbestos, evidence indicates that actinolite may be found in children's toys, drywall compounds, joint compounds, and a number of other products. Considering the evidence, thousands of people may have been unknowingly exposed to actinolite asbestos through products or environmental conditions. No matter the source, whether it's a pipe sealant in the home or an environmental contamination in a community, actinolite is extremely harmful to human health.

Anthophyllite Asbestos

Anthophyllite asbestos is commonly identified by its brittle white fibers that are made of crystals and have a chain-like appearance. This type of asbestos is formed by the breakdown of talc in ultramafic rock, and as such, anthophyllite is a common contaminant of talc. Anthophylite is the product of metamorphism of magnesium-rich rocks especially ultrabasic igneous rocks and impure dolomitic shales.


* Chemistry: (Mg, Fe)7Si8O22(OH)2 , Magnesium Iron Silicate Hydroxide.
* Class: Silicates
* Subclass: Inosilicates
* Group: Amphibole
* Uses: Are limited to some asbestos uses and as mineral specimens.

Like other forms of asbestos, anthophyllite poses a serious health threat. Several decades ago, health authorities and scientists confirmed anthophyllite is a human carcinogen. When people come into contact with anthophyllite asbestos and inhale or ingest its fibers, the fibers have the potential to become lodged in the mesothelial lining of the lungs, heart, abdomen, or testicles. The fibers can eventually lead to the development of lung cancer, mesothelioma cancer, and other life-threatening cancers and illnesses.

In addition to being intentionally used in a number of popular consumer products, anthophyllite has also been a common contaminant in talc, the mineral from which this deadly material is derived. According to studies, anthophyllite is formed when high temperatures are sustained, which destabilizes the talc mineral and causes it to disintegrate. The geologic link between these two minerals serves as an explanation of the occasional (less common today than three decades ago) contamination of talc with anthophyllite asbestos, which has been observed in scientific studies of talc at a weight as low as 2 percent of the total mineral weight. Because talcum powders and other products made from talc may contain anthophyllite asbestos, thousands of consumers - including countless infants and children - may have been exposed to anthophyllite, which is known to cause serious illnesses such as asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma.

Individuals living various lifestyles and working in a slew of occupations may have been exposed, from painters to construction workers to shipyard workers, just to name a few. Those who have worked with or otherwise used asbestos-containing products such as those described above may have been exposed to anthophyllite asbestos. Additionally, those who believe they may be at risk for developing an asbestos-related illness should contact an experienced mesothelioma lawyer. A mesothelioma lawyer can help answer any questions about anthophyllite and other forms of asbestos, as well as offer information on the legal options available to victims of asbestos exposure.

Amosite Asbestos

Amosite asbestos is an amphibole.
Amosite asbestos is identified by its straight, brittle fibers that are light gray to brown in color. Amosite is also referred to as brown asbestos and its name is derived from the asbestos mines located in South Africa.

The amosite variety of asbestos was used primarily as a fire retardant in thermal insulation products, like ceiling tiles, roof tiles, floor tiles, plumbing insulation, insulation board, chemical insulation, gaskets, lagging, cement sheet, electrical and telecommunication insulation.

Brown asbestos is now banned in most countries and has been for a number of years, but it can still be found in older products and structures, therefore still posing potential dangers, especially because this form of asbestos is highly friable. That means it crumbles easily when damaged, therefore releasing airborne fibers which can then be inhaled by those in the vicinity of the material.

As a form of asbestos, amosite has caused many cases of cancer (including mesothelioma) in people of many countries, but especially near the amosite mines in South Africa, the world's main commercial source of amosite. The workers who mined and processed amosite have cancer rates far worse than those of the general population.

The fibers of amosite are long and thin, and they can be broken into smaller, needle-like pieces. Fragments of amosite fibers are sometimes identified in building materials. As with other types of asbestos (there are six types in all), amosite is less of a danger when it is "trapped" in place in a product. It is when the amosite is being installed, removed or manipulated — or when its fibers are released into the air because of deterioration or damage — that the human beings in the area are vulnerable to asbestos inhalation.

Crocidolite Asbestos

Crocidolite asbestos, better known as blue asbestos, because of its color that ranges from pale green to indigo to Prussian blue. Crocidolite is harder than the other varieties of amphibole asbestos. This form is believed to be the most lethal form of asbestos. Crocidolite asbestos occurs naturally in locations such as Australia, South Africa, Bolivia, the former Soviet Union, and Canada.

Crocidolite asbestos is a form of asbestos known to cause mesothelioma. The fibers of crocidolite — or any other type of asbestos — can become lodged in the lungs or at other internal sites of the body, where they may initiate a process that culminates in asbestos diseases such as asbestosis, mesothelioma and lung cancer.

Some investigators have claimed that crocidolite is the cause of the great majority of mesotheliomas in the world, including most cases from the United States. Since crocidolite was rarely used in shipyards and in insulation products in this country (the source of a large proportion of mesotheliomas in the U.S.), we investigated our files for the proportion of the various asbestos fiber types found in the lungs of patients with mesothelioma. The data summarized below include analyses from more than 1500 fibers from 94 patients with mesothelioma.


Studies of the mineral fiber content of lung in U.S. patients with mesothelioma have shown that amosite is the most common fiber type, accounting for nearly 60% of all fibers 5 or greater in length among more than 1500 fibers analyzed from 94 cases. Ten percent of the fibers analyzed were tremolite, and 3% were chrysotile. (Chrysotile tends to break down in the lungs over time so that there is a relative enrichment of the more stable tremolite contaminant). Crocidolite accounted for only 3% of fibers. Studies have shown that fibers in this size range are capable of reaching the visceral and parietal pleura.

The last five amphibole (which translates to "ambiguous" in Greek) types have a slightly more complex crystal structure than chrysotile and are not used as extensively in commercial products as chrysotile. Due to their structure, amphiboles tend to stay in the lungs longer than chrysotile and are more likely to cause illness because of this factor. Some hypothesize very small contaminations of amphibole fibers within chrysotile are most to blame for cancer deaths caused by asbestos exposure.

Asbestiform minerals are found in serpentine and ultramafic rock. These rocks are located throughout the United States, especially near mountainous regions. California is exceptionally bountiful in asbestos, where the mineral can be found in at least 44 of the state's 58 counties (some geologists report asbestos is found in 50 of the 58 counties). Asbestos fibers especially form near fault zones, where temperature, pressure, and time have transformed the molecules into the asbestiform crystals.

Why is Asbestos Used?

The mineral's innate resistance to heat and fire is what has made asbestos so valuable in both industrial and domestic products. Another valuable feature is its reluctance to conduct electricity. The fibers are fine, flexible and can be spun into thread and woven into cloth that is flameproof, difficult to tear, and carries excellent insulation properties. It is virtually indestructible by heat, salt water, corrosive chemicals (especially alkalies), and any chemical or biological process. The fibers mix well into other materials, such as asphalt or cement, and make such products stronger, more flexible, and fire-retardant. They do not dissolve or evaporate with water, which makes the light fibers easy to mix.

resource :


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Asbestos Exposure Increase The Risk of Cancer

What are the Health Hazards of Exposure to Asbestos?

Exposure to asbestos may increase the risk of several serious diseases:

• Asbestosis—a chronic lung ailment that can produce shortness of breath, coughing, and permanent lung damage;
• Lung cancer;
• Mesothelioma—a relatively rare cancer of the thin membranes that line the chest and abdomen; and
• Other cancers, such as those of the larynx, oropharynx, gastrointestinal tract, and kidney.

While all types of asbestos fibers may increase the risk of developing these diseases, some scientists believe that crocidolite and amosite are more likely to produce mesotherlioma than is chrysotile. However, because most workers have been exposed to a variety of asbestos fiver types during their lifetime, it has not yet been possible to confirm this finding.

People may be exposed to asbestos in their workplace, their communities, or their homes. If products containing asbestos are disturbed, tiny asbestos fibers are released into the air. When asbestos fibers are breathed in, they may get trapped in the lungs and remain there for a long time. Over time, these fibers can accumulate and cause scarring and inflammation, which can affect breathing and lead to serious health problems .

Asbestos has been classified as a known human carcinogen (a substance that causes cancer) by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the EPA, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Studies have shown that exposure to asbestos may increase the risk of lung cancer and mesothelioma (a relatively rare cancer of the thin membranes that line the chest and abdomen). Although rare, mesothelioma is the most common form of cancer associated with asbestos exposure. In addition to lung cancer and mesothelioma, some studies have suggested an association between asbestos exposure and gastrointestinal and colorectal cancers, as well as an elevated risk for cancers of the throat, kidney, esophagus, and gallbladder (3, 4). However, the evidence is inconclusive.

Asbestos exposure may also increase the risk of asbestosis (an inflammatory condition affecting the lungs that can cause shortness of breath, coughing, and permanent lung damage) and other nonmalignant lung and pleural disorders, including pleural plaques (changes in the membranes surrounding the lung), pleural thickening, and benign pleural effusions (abnormal collections of fluid between the thin layers of tissue lining the lungs and the wall of the chest cavity). Although pleural plaques are not precursors to lung cancer, evidence suggests that people with pleural disease caused by exposure to asbestos may be at increased risk for lung cancer .

How great is the risk?

Not all workers exposed to asbestos will develop diseases related to their exposure. The risk of developing asbestos-related diseases varies with the type of industry in which the exposure occurred and with the extent of the exposure. Asbestos that is bonded into finished products such as walls and tiles poses no risk to health as long as it is not damaged or disturbed (for example, by sawing or drilling) in such a way as to release fibers into the air. When asbestos fibers are set free and inhaled, however, exposed individuals are at risk of developing an asbestos-related disease.
In addition, different types of asbestos fibers may be associated with different health risks. For example, results of several studies suggest that amphibole forms of asbestos may be more harmful than chrysotile, particularly for mesothelioma. Even so, no fiber type can be considered harmless, and people working with asbestos should always take proper safety precautions to limit exposure.

Who is at risk for an asbestos-related disease?

Everyone is exposed to asbestos at some time during their life. Low levels of asbestos are present in the air, water, and soil. However, most people do not become ill from their exposure. People who become ill from asbestos are usually those who are exposed to it on a regular basis, most often in a job where they work directly with the material or through substantial environmental contact.

Since the early 1940s, millions of American workers have been exposed to asbestos. Health hazards from asbestos fibers have been recognized in workers exposed in the shipbuilding trades, asbestos mining and milling, manufacturing of asbestos textiles and other asbestos products, insulation work in the construction and building trades, and a variety of other trades. Demolition workers, drywall removers, asbestos removal workers, firefighters, and automobile workers also may be exposed to asbestos fibers. Studies evaluating the cancer risk experienced by automobile mechanics exposed to asbestos through brake repair are limited, but the overall evidence suggests there is no safe level of asbestos exposure (3, 8). As a result of Government regulations and improved work practices, today’s workers (those without previous exposure) are likely to face smaller risks than did those exposed in the past.

Individuals involved in the rescue, recovery, and cleanup at the site of the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center (WTC) in New York City are another group at risk of developing an asbestos-related disease. Because asbestos was used in the construction of the North Tower of the WTC, when the building was attacked, hundreds of tons of asbestos were released into the atmosphere. Those at greatest risk include firefighters, police officers, paramedics, construction workers, and volunteers who worked in the rubble at Ground Zero. Others at risk include residents in close proximity to the WTC towers and those who attended schools nearby. These individuals will need to be followed to determine the long-term health consequences of their exposure (10).

One study found that nearly 70 percent of WTC rescue and recovery workers suffered new or worsened respiratory symptoms while performing work at the WTC site. The study describes the results of the WTC Worker and Volunteer Medical Screening Program, which was established to identify and characterize possible WTC-related health effects in responders. The study found that about 28 percent of those tested had abnormal lung function tests, and 61 percent of those without previous health problems developed respiratory symptoms (11). However, it is important to note that these symptoms may be related to exposure to debris components other than asbestos.

Although it is clear that the health risks from asbestos exposure increase with heavier exposure and longer exposure time, investigators have found asbestos-related diseases in individuals with only brief exposures. Generally, those who develop asbestos-related diseases show no signs of illness for a long time after their first exposure. It can take from 10 to 40 years or more for symptoms of an asbestos-related condition to appear (2).

There is some evidence that family members of workers heavily exposed to asbestos face an increased risk of developing mesothelioma (6). This risk is thought to result from exposure to asbestos fibers brought into the home on the shoes, clothing, skin, and hair of workers. To decrease these exposures, Federal law regulates workplace practices to limit the possibility of asbestos being brought home in this way. Some employees may be required to shower and change their clothes before they leave work, store their street clothes in a separate area of the workplace, or wash their work clothes at home separately from other clothes (2).

Cases of mesothelioma have also been seen in individuals without occupational asbestos exposure who live close to asbestos mines (6).
# What factors affect the risk of developing an asbestos-related disease?

Several factors can help to determine how asbestos exposure affects an individual, including (2, 6):

* Dose (how much asbestos an individual was exposed to).
* Duration (how long an individual was exposed).
* Size, shape, and chemical makeup of the asbestos fibers.
* Source of the exposure.
* Individual risk factors, such as smoking and pre-existing lung disease.

Although all forms of asbestos are considered hazardous, different types of asbestos fibers may be associated with different health risks. For example, the results of several studies suggest that amphibole forms of asbestos may be more harmful than chrysotile, particularly for mesothelioma risk, because they tend to stay in the lungs for a longer period of time (1, 2).

# How are asbestos-related diseases detected?

Individuals who have been exposed (or suspect they have been exposed) to asbestos fibers on the job, through the environment, or at home via a family contact should inform their doctor about their exposure history and whether or not they experience any symptoms. The symptoms of asbestos-related diseases may not become apparent for many decades after the exposure. It is particularly important to check with a doctor if any of the following symptoms develop (6):

* Shortness of breath, wheezing, or hoarseness.
* A persistent cough that gets worse over time.
* Blood in the sputum (fluid) coughed up from the lungs.
* Pain or tightening in the chest.
* Difficulty swallowing.
* Swelling of the neck or face.
* Loss of appetite.
* Weight loss.
* Fatigue or anemia.

A thorough physical examination, including a chest x-ray and lung function tests, may be recommended. The chest x-ray is currently the most common tool used to detect asbestos-related diseases. However, it is important to note that chest x-rays cannot detect asbestos fibers in the lungs, but they can help identify any early signs of lung disease resulting from asbestos exposure (2).

Studies have shown that computed tomography (CT) (a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body taken from different angles; the pictures are created by a computer linked to an x-ray machine) may be more effective than conventional chest x-rays at detecting asbestos-related lung abnormalities in individuals who have been exposed to asbestos (12).

A lung biopsy, which detects microscopic asbestos fibers in pieces of lung tissue removed by surgery, is the most reliable test to confirm the presence of asbestos-related abnormalities. A bronchoscopy is a less invasive test than a biopsy and detects asbestos fibers in material that is rinsed out of the lungs. It is important to note that these tests cannot determine how much asbestos an individual may have been exposed to or whether disease will develop (12). Asbestos fibers can also be detected in urine, mucus, or feces, but these tests are not reliable for determining how much asbestos may be in an individual’s lungs (2).
# How can workers protect themselves from asbestos exposure?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a component of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and is the Federal agency responsible for health and safety regulations in maritime, construction, manufacturing, and service workplaces. OSHA established regulations dealing with asbestos exposure on the job, specifically in construction work, shipyards, and general industry that employers are required to follow. In addition, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), another component of the DOL, enforces regulations related to mine safety. Workers should use all protective equipment provided by their employers and follow recommended workplace practices and safety procedures. For example, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)-approved respirators that fit properly should be worn by workers when required.

Workers who are concerned about asbestos exposure in the workplace should discuss the situation with other employees, their employee health and safety representative, and their employers. If necessary, OSHA can provide more information or make an inspection. Regional offices of OSHA are listed in the “United States Government” section of a telephone directory’s blue pages (under “Department of Labor”). Regional offices can also be found at on the Internet.

More information about asbestos is available on the OSHA Asbestos Web page, which has links to information about asbestos in the workplace, including what OSHA standards apply, the hazards of asbestos, evaluating asbestos exposure, and controls used to protect workers. This page is available at on the Internet. OSHA’s national office can be contacted at:

What programs are available to help individuals with asbestos-related diseases?

Some people with asbestos-related illness may be eligible for Medicare coverage. Information about benefits is available from Medicare’s Regional Offices, located in 10 major cities across the United States and serving specific geographic areas. The Regional Offices serve as the agency’s initial point of contact for beneficiaries, health care providers, state and local governments, and the general public. Contact information for each Regional Office can be found at on the Internet. General information about Medicare is available by calling toll-free 1–800–633–4227 (1–800–MEDICARE) or visiting on the Internet.

People with occupational asbestos-related diseases also may qualify for financial help, including medical payments, under state workers’ compensation laws. Because eligibility requirements vary from state to state, workers employed by private companies or by state and local government agencies should contact their state workers’ compensation board. Contact information for state workers’ compensation officials may be found in the blue pages of a local telephone directory or at on the Internet.

If exposure occurred during employment with a Federal agency, medical expenses and other compensation may be covered by the Federal Employees’ Compensation Program, which is administered by the DOL, Employment Standards Administration’s Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs. This program provides workers’ compensation benefits to Federal (civilian) employees for employment-related injuries and diseases. Benefits include wage replacement, payment for medical care, and, where necessary, medical and vocational rehabilitation assistance in returning to work. Benefits may also be provided to dependents if the injury or disease causes the employee’s death. The program has 12 district offices nationwide.

In addition, the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Program provides benefits to longshoremen, harbor workers, other maritime workers, and other classes of private industry workers who are injured during the course of employment or suffer from diseases caused or worsened by conditions of employment. Information about eligibility and how to file a claim for benefits under either of these programs is available from:
Organization: Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs
Employment Standards Administration
U.S. Department of Labor
Address: Frances Perkins Building
200 Constitution Avenue, NW.
Washington, DC 20210
Telephone: 1–866–692–7487 (1–866–OWCPIVR)
(Federal Employees’ Compensation Program)
(Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Program)
Internet Web site:

Eligible veterans may receive health care at a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center for an asbestos-related disease. Veterans can receive treatment for service-connected and nonservice-connected medical conditions. Information about eligibility and benefits is available from the VA Health Benefits Service Center at 1–877–222–8387 (1–877–222–VETS) or on the VA Web site at on the Internet.
# Is there Federal legislation to help victims of asbestos-related diseases?

No Federal legislation has been enacted to compensate victims of asbestos-related diseases or to protect people from asbestos exposure. However, a bill called the Fairness in Asbestos Injury Resolution Act, or FAIR Act, has been introduced in Congress several times. This bill would create a national trust fund to compensate victims suffering from asbestos-related diseases. The proposed trust fund would be administered by the DOL, outside of the courts, through a claims process in which all individuals with certain medical symptoms and evidence of asbestos-related disease would be compensated. Funding for the trust would come from insurance companies and companies that mined, manufactured, and sold asbestos or asbestos products. Under the bill, individuals affected by asbestos exposure would no longer be able to pursue awards for damages in any Federal or state court.

What other organizations offer information related to asbestos exposure?

The organizations listed below can provide more information about asbestos exposure.

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) is the principal Federal agency responsible for evaluating the human health effects of exposure to hazardous substances. This agency works in close collaboration with local, state, and other Federal agencies, with tribal governments, and with communities and local health care providers to help prevent or reduce harmful human health effects from exposure to hazardous substances. The ATSDR provides information about asbestos and where to find occupational and environmental health clinics. The ATSDR can be contacted at:
Organization: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
Address: 4770 Buford Highway, NE.
Atlanta, GA 30341
Telephone: 1–800–232–4636 (1–800–CDC–INFO)
TTY: 1–888–232–6348
Internet Web site:

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates the general public’s exposure to asbestos in buildings, drinking water, and the environment. The EPA offers a Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Hotline and an Asbestos Ombudsman. The TSCA Hotline provides technical assistance and information about asbestos programs implemented under the TSCA, which include the Asbestos School Hazard Abatement Act and the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act. The Asbestos Ombudsman focuses on asbestos in schools and handles questions and complaints. Both the TSCA Hotline and the Asbestos Ombudsman can provide publications on a number of topics, particularly on controlling asbestos exposure in schools and other buildings. The Ombudsman operates a toll-free hotline for small businesses, trade associations, and others seeking free, confidential help.

The EPA Web site includes a list of EPA regional and state asbestos contacts at on the Internet. In addition, EPA’s Asbestos and Vermiculite home page provides information about asbestos and its health effects and links to asbestos resources, including suggestions for homeowners who suspect asbestos in their homes, and laws and regulations applicable to asbestos. This page can be found at on the Internet. Questions may be directed to:
Organization: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
EPA West Building
National Program Chemicals Division
Address: Mail Code 7404T
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW.
Washington, DC 20460
TSCA Hotline: 202–554–1404
TTY: 202–554–0551
Asbestos Ombudsman: 1–800–368–5888
Internet Web site:

Another EPA resource that may be of interest is the brochure titled Current Best Practices for Preventing Asbestos Exposure Among Brake and Clutch Repair Workers. Released in April 2007, this brochure includes work practices for both automotive professionals and home mechanics that may be used to avoid asbestos exposure. It also summarizes existing OSHA regulatory requirements for professional auto mechanics. The brochure can be found at on the Internet.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is responsible for protecting the public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from more than 15,000 types of consumer products, including asbestos, under the agency’s jurisdiction. The CPSC maintains a toll-free 24-hour hotline where callers can obtain product safety and other agency information and report unsafe products. In addition, CPSC publications provide guidelines for repairing and removing asbestos, and general information about asbestos in the home. CPSC can be contacted at:
Organization: Office of Information and Public Affairs
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
Address: 4330 East West Highway
Bethesda, MD 20814
Telephone: 1–800–638–2772
TTY: 1–800–638–8270
Internet Web site:

Individuals can also contact their local or state health department with questions or concerns about asbestos.

resource: Geneese County

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Asbestos Lawyer | Information and Advice from the Leading UK Asbestos Claim Solicitors.


Welcome to Asbestos Victim Advice

It is very important that you know which disease you have. Usually your doctor will have already discussed your diagnosis, and the implications with you. The type of disease determines what benefits and compensaton you might be entitled to.

We have helped many people just like you, we understand how worrying a time it can be. Call us on freephone 0800 294 3065 and speak directly to a solicitor, not a call centre.

About We Solicitors

Years of experience in asbestos claims have shown us the human side to the suffering not only of our client, but the family as well. We have specialised training in dealing with asbestos related compensation claims and are experts in industrial disease, unlike your average high street firm who may deal with one of these cases once in the career, we have acted for many sufferers and their families successfully.

What we provide:

* We will come to your home (no fee) and give you expert advice
* The person who sees you will continue to act on your behalf and become your trusted advisor
* We will provide you with expert support from a local support group, we also have expert grief counsellors to help both you and your family at this difficult time
* We offer a free will service to all victims of asbestos related illnesses
* We will assist you with your claim for state benefits
* We will assist you with your claim for state benefits


Mr A v Charles Hill & Sons Limited

In November 2007 David was diagnosed as having an Asbestos Related Cancer (Mesothelioma).

In June 2008 David was awarded compensation from Insurers of £140,000.

Little did I realise when I browsed the web that I would be getting help and guidance that would support me for a considerable time

Why did I choose WE Solicitors that day? The first thing was that there were lots of different websites, some easy to understand and others very complicated. WE website was easy to look at and more importantly it had a free phone number right at the top. I phoned and left details on the answering machine. Within 10 minutes the telephone rang and I spoke to John Green. It was like a breath of fresh air. He UNDERSTOOD. The next day he visited us in Wales and helped with all the forms that I did not understand, and within a week the benefit people were sending us information and David was awarded Industrial Injuries Allowance. John did not treat me like a child or someone who did not know much but he showed consideration and dignity.

John Green kept us informed and he was nearly always there to ask any questions I wanted (however silly they were). If he was away a message was got to him and he got back to me as soon as he could.

We are the lucky ones, in that John Green was able to help and support me from what is a very stressful time. Our compensation was finished in a very short time and did not take years!

I would urge anyone who has this condition or similar cancers to get in touch with a solicitor ASAP. Do not delay, pick a Solicitor who knows what they are doing and you will not go far wrong if you pick WE Solicitors.

John Green has always supported me and the consideration, guidance and help I have received has been nothing but excellent. I trust John Green and WE Solicitors and know that they always look at everyone with respect and dignity.

Thank you John Green

From Mary a very satisfied customer.

Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Members David Wingate & Steven Evans
© WE Solicitors LLP.

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Monday, March 16, 2009

Well-Differentiated Papillary Mesothelioma

What is Papillary Mesothelioma?

Well-differentiated papillary mesothelioma (WDPM) of the peritoneum is a rare subtype of peritoneal epithelioid mesothelioma which typically has low malignant potential. This form of mesothelioma, in contrast with the conventional diffuse malignant mesothelioma (DMM), is considered to be of low malignant potential, or not likely to spread or invade other parts of the body.

It most commonly occurs in young women lacking a history of asbestos exposure. Only 38 female patients with peritoneal WPDM have been reported in the literature, and no uniform treatment recommendation has been established.

Well-Differentiated Papillary Mesothelioma.

Department of Pathology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27710, USA.

Well-differentiated papillary mesothelioma is an unusual variant of epithelial mesothelioma considered to be of low malignant potential.

The majority of previously reported cases developed in the peritoneum of young women without a history of asbestos exposure. The authors report 14 cases of well-differentiated papillary mesothelioma, seven of which originated in the pleura, six in the peritoneum, and one in the tunica vaginalis. Eleven of the patients were male and three were female, with an average age at presentation of 58 years (range 32-82 years). Six of the patients had a quantifiable history of asbestos exposure. Of the nine cases with complete follow-up, six had clinically indolent disease, one showed resolution after adjuvant chemotherapy, one pursued an aggressive course, and one died of other causes. These findings indicate that well-differentiated papillary mesothelioma is a rare variant of mesothelioma with a variable clinical prognosis that is etiologically related to asbestos exposure in some cases.

PMID: 11688466 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE

Macroscopic features: Multiple grey white nodules usually less than 20mm in diameter.

Microscopic features:

Well defined stout papillary structures with myxoid cores, lined by bland, flattened, single layer of cuboidal or columnar mesothelial cells. Subnuclear vacuolation may be noted. Mitotic figures are rarely present. In some cases there may be limited invasion of the submesothelial layer. Deep invasion is usually not seen.

Differential diagnosis:
  1. Reactive mesothelial hyperplasia (assocciated with inflammation) ;
  2. Serous neoplasia of peritoneum ( cellular stratification, atypia and mitotic figures) ;
  3. Primary and seconday adenocarcinoma (mucin histochemistry and immunohistochemistry are useful ) ;
  4. Diffuse mesothelioma with a prominent tubulopapillary epithelial component (diffuse growth pattern & cytological atypia).

Papillary Mesothelioma Treatments

Due to the rare occurrence of this disease, a recommendation of uniform treatment has yet to be established. The typical forms of treatment that have been documented in various studies are similar to traditional mesothelioma treatments and have included surgery and multiple forms of chemotherapy. Patients and their families often have numerous questions about the best way to combat mesothelioma and we offer a comprehensive packet with information about treatment options and top doctors, catered to each patient’s specific diagnosis. Please click here to receive this complimentary packet overnight.


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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Mesothelioma Nutrition

Did You Know?

It is important to drink as much as possible in order to maintain your body’s system. The more you drink, the more your digestive system will be able to function properly, which will then help the rest of your body to be supported and stabilized.

For most mesothelioma patients, diet is often an overlooked subject, but eating the right nutritional foods for strength and energy is just as important as taking the proper medication.

Mesothelioma patients undergoing treatment should follow a special cancer diet devised by their nutritionists. Cancer diets involve eating the correct amounts of protein and calories as well as drinking the right amount of water to keep the ailing body replenished and energized. The body needs plenty of nourishment when it is going through chemotherapy or even when the patient is taking certain medications.

As with most cancers, along side traditional treatment changing your diet can help. Increase soy beans products in your diet, the alpha carotene and lycopene in soy help to revert and reduce tumor growth and metastasis. Other anti-cancer foods that should be plentiful in your diet are cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts, shiitake mushrooms, broccoli, pears, citrus fruits, turmeric, tomatoes, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, green tea, walnuts, spinach, wheat bran, rice bran, rosemary, garlic, thyme, oregano and onions. These foods should be organic. Cut down on meat (especially grilled or barbecued) and dairy food consumption, pickled food, smoked food, alcohol, saturated fats, salt, sun exposure and smoking.

Mesothelioma Nutrition

The following supplements may help if you are suffering from Mesothelioma.
Multivitamins and Multiminerals

* B group vitamins
* Vitamin E
* Vitamin A
* Vitamin C
* Vitamin D
* Vitamin K
* Co-enzyme Q10
* Echinacea
* Shark cartilage
* Fish Oil
* Selenium
* Zinc
* Manganese
* Copper
* Calcium
* Pro-biotics
* Evening primrose oil

Source: Stewart Hare C.H.Ed Dip NutTh

Below are some of the important nutrients patients are encouraged to include in their mesothelioma diet:
  • Protein is important for any cancer patient because it helps repair tissue damaged by surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation. Protein also helps maintain a strong and healthy immune system, lowering a mesothelioma patient’s risk of infection after aggressive cancer treatments. The National Cancer Institute recommends increasing protein in a cancer diet with cheese, milk, ice cream, yoghurt, eggs, nuts, peanut butter, meats and fish.
  • Fats are an essential part of the cancer diet because they supply the body with the necessary energy it needs while undergoing treatment. The amount of fats (meaning the number of calories) a cancer diet should consist of is dependent on a mesothelioma patient’s age and body size. The National Cancer Institute recommends increasing caloric intake with such foods as butter, milk, cheese, honey, sugar, granola and dried fruits.
  • Water is another essential element of the cancer diet. Without a substantial amount of water, the body will dehydrate. It is important that anyone undergoing cancer treatment receive enough water to keep their bodies hydrated and replenished.
  • Vitamins and minerals: Vitamins and minerals help ensure growth and development, in addition to allowing the body to use the calories supplied by the foods eaten. While it is not always necessary to supplement vitamins and minerals during times when one is maintaining good eating habits, it may become more important when the challenges of being ill or undergoing treatment make eating difficult.

The details of every patient’s mesothelioma diet will vary. Some patients will need to incorporate more fat into their diets, while others may need more protein. It is important that patients devise a cancer diet under the guidance of their doctor and nutritionist to ensure that they receive the proper amount of nutrients to improve their quality of life.

Source: MesotheliomaAttorneyAdviceCenter (

Diet and Nutrition for Mesothelioma Patients

Eating a healthy diet that contains all the essential nutrients can be a challenge for anyone. But for people with mesothelioma and other cancers, this challenge is even more difficult. Although loss of appetite and nausea are common in people with mesothelioma, eating a healthy, balanced diet becomes more important than ever. Proper nutrition helps to boost the immune system, maintain energy levels and fight the free radicals that can cause cancer. In addition, diet and nutrition can play an important role in reducing the toxic side effects of some mesothelioma treatments.

If you or someone you know has mesothelioma, here are some diet and nutrition tips for fighting the disease and living well while undergoing treatment.

  • A consultation with a dietician can help you create a nutritious meal plan that is tailored to your needs.
  • Most sources recommend a lower-carbohydrate diet for people with cancer. At the same time, higher amounts of protein can help repair tissue damaged by surgery or treatments. It can also help to maintain a healthy immune system.
  • Include fats in your diet to help supply your body with the energy it needs.
  • Drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated and flush out the toxins produced by mesothelioma treatments.
  • If loss of appetite prevents you from eating more than a few bites at each meal, you can boost your caloric intake and avoid excessive weight loss by consuming high-calorie foods. These include butter, milk, cheese, honey and sugars.
  • Focus on liquids and soft foods if you are nauseated or have difficulty swallowing. Blended drinks such as fruit smoothies may be more tolerable than solid foods. Commercially prepared liquid diet supplements are also useful.
  • To be sure you are getting enough of the nutrients you need, you may want to ask your doctor if nutritional supplements are right for you.
resource : All About Mesothelioma

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Organic Foods For Mesothelioma Cancer

For most mesothelioma patients, diet is often an overlooked subject, but eating the right nutritional foods for strength and energy is just as important as taking the proper medication.

As with most cancers, along side traditional treatment changing your diet can help. Increase soy beans products in your diet, the alpha carotene and lycopene in soy help to revert and reduce tumor growth and metastasis. Other anti-cancer foods that should be plentiful in your diet are cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts, shiitake mushrooms, broccoli, pears, citrus fruits, turmeric, tomatoes, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, green tea, walnuts, spinach, wheat bran, rice bran, rosemary, garlic, thyme, oregano and onions. These foods should be organic. Cut down on meat (especially grilled or barbecued) and dairy food consumption, pickled food, smoked food, alcohol, saturated fats, salt, sun exposure and smoking.

Organic food is natural food as against genetically modified (GM) food. Most food that we consume today are coated with chemicals and fertilizers. They are also genetically altered to yield more, which results in more quantity but not in quality. Organic food produce is healthier because they contain 50% more vitamins, minerals, enzymes and other micro-nutrients than intensively farm produced.

In the production of organic foods:

* Toxic pesticides are not used
* Soil fertility is maintained and replenished using natural methods such as crop rotation, fertilizer crops, composting etc.
* Regular soil and nutrition analysis are done to test soil fertility and food quality
* Natural methods of topsoil management are used to ensure minimal soil erosion
* Organic farmers aim to preserve and protect natural wildlife, vegetation and water systems
* Organic farmers are concerned about the loss of a variety of species
* No genetically modified seeds are used
* Organic growers collect seeds from the plants in order to preserve biodiversity

Why Organic food is better for you?

It is said that an apple you buy in the market today has on an average of 20-30 artificial poisons on its skin, even after rinsing. Organically produced food and flowers also taste and smell so much better. Fruits, flowers and vegetables are full of juice and flavor, and they come in many different varieties. Compare an organically produced rose fragrance with those that are sold en masse in the floral markets. The ones that are farm produced only look good but they don't even smell like roses, what's a rose without its fragrance?

For meats "organic" means that the animals have been raised without the use of growth factors and antibiotics. They are also fed on natural grass. This type of meat is also called "free range". You can see the same wording on organic eggs as well.

Organic and Natural mean different things. Don't be fooled by nutrition labels and packaging, stating that the food is Natural. It might be natural, but it's not organic.

"Natural" simply means that the food is unprocessed, it is fresh. "Organic" food on the other hand means food that has not been sprayed with pesticides, fertilizers, or no waste materials have been used while the food is being grown. Also, such food has not been genetically modified (GMO).

So, why is it better to buy organic food? I recently read an interesting fact. According to the Environmental Working Group (Washington D.C.) an apple grown on chemicals can have as many as 36 different pesticides sprayed on it. What does this tell you? Is it safer to shell out a little more especially for produce or it's not?

The same with meat. Antibiotic use can cause resistant bacterial strains. That's the reason why many antibiotics don't work and can't effectively cope with a lot of diseases nowadays. Growth hormones don't allow for the animal to grow naturally.

Eat healthy, live healthy: Awareness about the products you consume is the key and many non profit organizations are campaigning against non organic and health hazardous products. It is not very far fetched to say that what you eat today has a direct impact on the health of the future generation. Go organic!


Walter J. Crinnion N.D.

Published in Organic Gardening Almanac, 1995; Llewelyn Pub.

The more I work with chronically ill people, the bigger my organic garden gets. As a naturopathic physician I deal with a lot of chronically ill people. Many of them have been through the conventional medical system with no success, so they show up at my doorstep. One day Steve showed up. Over six feet tall and 200 pounds, he dwarfed me, and was quick to mention that my hair was thinning. He was always trying to be helpful. He came to me after numerous doctors were unable to help. By the time he arrived he was sure that he was dying. His long list of symptoms, coupled with his natural tendency to do his best to get your goat had no doubt caused any practitioners to give up on him.

Routine blood tests failed to show the cause of his problems, although they did show some irregularities. The really interesting finding came when we checked his blood for pesticides.

We tested for eighteen of the more common pesticides and found that he had nine of them running around in his blood. Knowing that there are many more than eighteen chemicals in our environment did not make me feel any better. If he had 50% of the chemicals that we tested for, how many did he have that we didn't test for? Unfortunately, out of the 70,000 chemicals in daily use in this country, only about 250 can be tested for in humans. This obviously makes it very difficult to find out what is causing a health problem if the culprit is one of the remaining 69,750.

After finding what I thought to be the source of Steve's problems I had to ask: Where did he get such a high level of toxins? One of the toxins he had in his serum was DDT. This chemical pesticide was banned in 1972 as a direct result of Rachel Carson's book Silent Spring. After being in the body for 6 months, DDT breaks down to DDE. Since we found both DDE and DDT in him, this meant that Steve had gotten DDT with the past year. But how?

While DDT is banned for use in this country it is still manufactured here, and then it is shipped to other countries for use in agriculture and mosquito control. DDT makes its way back into this country on the food raised in those countries, or in the livestock that was raised on contaminated feed.

Steve was a traveling salesman in the Pacific Northwest. His territory included Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Idaho, and Montana. He ate out at restaurants a lot while he was traveling. Presumably, that is where he was slowly poisoned. After seeing Steve, my backyard organic garden got a little bit bigger.

There are numerous benefits to both eating organic foods, and to organic gardening. I personally believe that a huge benefit comes from a renewed relationship with nature. It starts with an "I won't poison you, you won't poison me" attitude, and ends with "I'll nurture and respect you, you nurture and respect me." Doing your own organic gardening makes this a personal commitment. Gardening is just plain good for the soul. One of my patients told me that they refer to their time spent in the garden a "going to see my therapist." There is nothing quite like getting your hands in the soil for really good "grounding".

In addition to the mental and emotional benefits of growing and eating organic food, there are also the physical benefits. These physical benefits can be boiled down to nutrients present in organic foods that are not in commercial foods and toxins not in organic foods that are present in commercial foods. A recent article in the Journal of Applied Nutrition gave credence to the notion that organic foods have higher nutrient levels that non-organic food. In this study the mineral content of organic apples, pear, potatoes, wheat, and sweet corn were compared to commercial varieties. Overall the organic foods showed much higher levels of nutrient minerals and much lower levels of heavy metals.

Here are a few of the nutrients that were found in higher levels in the organic foods:

* Chromium is a micronutrient that is low in Western diets. Its deficiency is associated with the onset of adult diabetes and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). Chromium was found to be higher in organic foods by an average of 78%.

* Selenium is one of the antioxidant nutrients that protects us from damage by environmental chemicals. It is protective against cancers and heart disease. It was found to be an average of 390% higher in organic foods.

* Calcium, needed for strong bones, averaged 63% higher in organics.

* Boron, which has been shown to help prevent osteoporosis (along with calcium), averaged 70% more.

* Lithium, which is used to treat certain types of depression, was 188% higher.

* Magnesium, which reduces mortality from heart attacks, keeps muscles from spasming, and eases the symptoms of PMS, averaged 138% more.

In short, many of the minerals that I most often prescribe to my patients are found in much higher levels in organic foods.

Other studies have looked at vitamin levels of food plants treated with certain pesticides. They showed that application of some pesticides would significantly lower the vitamin levels in the plants they were applied to. This is different than the notion that plants raised with chemicals are low in nutrients because the soil is depleted. This shows that chemicals actually reduce the amount of nutrients in plants after application. The nutrients most often affected are vitamin C, beta carotene, and the B vitamins. These nutrients are vitally necessary for the body to withstand the onslaught of chemical toxins. Vitamin C has been well documented by two-time Nobel laureate Linus Pauling to prevent and treat cancers. Beta carotene has been shown to be a stimulant of the immune system, and is sometimes able to prevent lung cancer.

When they studied organic food for mineral levels, the researchers also looked for the amount of the heavy metals aluminum, cadmium, lead and mercury. Aluminum has been implicated for years in the development of Alzheimer's disease. It's content in organic food averaged 40% less that in commercial foods. Lead toxicity, which has been in the new a lot lately, can adversely affect our children's' IQ. It averaged 29% lower in organic foods. Mercury, which can cause neurologic damage, averaged 25% lower in organic foods.

Besides the lower levels of heavy metals, there are the chemical residues themselves. The big question is whether or not the accumulation of pesticide residues in non-organic foods is a real health concern or not. Studies have never been able to conclusively show a direct correlation between residues in food and a decline of human health, but there are numerous problems in doing any such study. The first is that you would need a population of people who are free of chemical residues to compare to, and no one has been able to find such a group. According to an ongoing EPA study of fat samples taken from surgeries and autopsies across the country, we are all loaded with chemical residues. Similar studies done on other countries all show the same results.

The clearest studies that we have about pesticide residues and disease are those looking at breast cancer. In the last few years there have been a series of studies, each building upon the other, looking at the level of DDT, DDE, and PCB in women, They have very clearly shown that chemical residues in the serum and fat cells of women greatly increase the risk of breast cancer. Since breast cancer is a major killer of women in this country it is reasonable to say that avoidance of pesticide residues in food (the only known route of exposure to DDT in this country, since we no longer use it to spray for mosquitoes) could save numerous lives and reduce our health care cost dramatically.

After 50 years of "Better Living Through Chemistry" scientists have finally shown that breast cancer is associated with pesticide residue, They have yet to prove that it causes numerous other maladies. I am not waiting for them to prove it before I change my eating habits. As a clinician who sees numerous environmentally poisoned people with health problems, I am convinced of an association between chemicals and disease. The biggest source of exposure for many people is their workplace, then their homes, followed by air, food and water. Of these the easiest to control are our home environment and our diet.

Eating organic food, drinking pure water, and watching our airborne chemical exposure can have profound effects on our health. My friend Steve, who has now gone through an extensive protocol to remove the pesticide residue from his body and had regained his health, will back me up on that. When he added up the costs of his illness in time off work and medical expenses, he found that eating organic food was much less expensive than eating non-organic foods. He is eating better foods now, and my organic garden continues to grow, along with my children.

Walter J. Crinnion N.D., is a Naturopathic Physician in Bellevue, Washington. He is a faculty member at Bastyr University in Seattle, where he teaches Environmental Toxicity, and Clinical Ecology. He is also adjunct faculty at Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine, where he teaches an intensive class on Environmental Medicine. Since 1987, Dr. Crinnion has operated the most comprehensive cleansing protocol in the nation.

Article Source:

Top Ten Foods to Eat Organically

Excerpted from Your Organic Kitchen by Jesse Ziff Cool

You can sidestep harm and still eat vitamin-rich foods. If you cannot find these foods organically, here are some great alternatives that contain the same valuable vitamins and minerals.

High-Pesticide Food: Strawberries
Main Nutrient: Vitamin C
Healthy Alternatives: Blueberries, raspberries, oranges, grapefruit, kiwifruit, watermelon

High-Pesticide`Food: Bell peppers
Main Nutrient: Vitamin C
Healthy Alternatives: Green peas, broccoli, romaine, lettuce

High-Pesticide Food: Spinach
Main Nutrient: Vitamins A and C
Healthy Alternatives: Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, asparagus

High-Pesticide Food: Cherries
Main Nutrient: Vitamin C
Healthy Alternatives: Oranges, blueberries, raspberries, kiwifruit, blackberries, grapefruit

High-Pesticide Food: Peaches
Main Nutrient: Vitamins A and C
Healthy Alternatives: Nectarines, watermelon, tangerines, oranges, grapefruit

High-Pesticide Food: Mexican cantaloupe
Main Nutrient: Vitamins A and C
and potassium Healthy Alternatives: U.S. cantaloupe grown from May to December, watermelon

High-Pesticide Food: Celery
Main Nutrient: Carotenoids
Healthy Alternatives: Carrots, broccoli, radishes, romaine lettuce

High-Pesticide Food: Apples
Main Nutrient: Vitamin C
Healthy Alternatives: Watermelon, nectarines, bananas, tangerines

High-Pesticide Food: Apricots
Main Nutrient: Vitamins A an C and potassium
Healthy Alternatives: Nectarines, watermelon, oranges, tangerines

High-Pesticide Food: Green beans
Main Nutrient: Potassium

By : Alternative Medicine Direct

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