Out of 757 cases, National Institutes of Health researchers recently discovered “3 cases of pleural epithelial mesothelioma histologically diagnosed in young women who had worked in two doll manufacturing companies.”
Three women had been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, but how and where they were exposed to asbestos remained “unknown” until a judicial autopsy of one woman’s lung tissue samples using Scanning Electron Microscopy allowed examiners to reclassify the exposure from “unknown” to “occupational certified.”
Up until this year, mesothelioma in women with no apparent occupational exposure to asbestos had been considered to have developed due to life or family environmental exposure.
Worldwide, mesothelioma affects more than twice the number of men as women, primarily because men are more likely to have worked in shipbuilding, construction, or other industries that exposed them to asbestos. Pietrogino Barbieri, author of an Italian study based on data from the Province of Brescia Mesothelioma Registry, has also reported on asbestos exposure in steel workers, cotton spinners, agricultural workers, teachers, and dental technicians, in addition to workers in doll manufacturing.
These findings in doll manufacturing identify a new occupational hazard and raise concerns for people working in textile-related industries such as garment factories and cotton plants.