Pleura and Lung Diseases Due to Asbestos Exposure
Dr. Muzaffer METİNTAŞ

Abstract 10.5152/gghs.2019.031

Asbestos is a fibrous mineral and has found widespread use in industry due to its resistance to heat and water. However, due to its fibrous nature, it has caused serious malignant or benign health problems affecting the pleura or lung. While the use of asbestos is banned in developed countries, as production and use continues in developing countries, no decrease in asbestos-induced diseases is expected globally, and the problem is expected to continue in the near and medium term. Asbestos can be easily inhaled due to its fibrous structure, reaching the periphery and pleura in the lungs, where it is met by macrophages. When the biological structures come into contact with minerals, the biological structure degenerates and toxic radicals emerge. Thus, mutagenic or fibrogenic activity may begin in epithelial cells localized in the pleura or lungs, possibly depending on the host’s genetic structure. As a result, asbestos exposure to cause benign problems in the pleura; pleural plaque, diffuse pleural fibrosis, round atelectasis, and interstitial fibrosis defined as asbestosis in the lungs. The major risk of asbestos exposure is mesothelioma or lung cancer. The prevalence of benign pleural diseases in the exposed population is between 10 and 50%, and the prevalence of asbestosis varies depending on the intensity of exposure to asbestos and its prevalence in occupational contact environments is around 5%. Asbestos exposure is the most important known risk factor for mesothelioma. In 5-10% of the exposed population is expected to develop mesothelioma. In Turkey, about occupational exposure to asbestos, there is not sufficient data and information in order to make risk determinations. However, Turkey Asbestos Control Strategic Plan, at least 35% of annual mesothelioma cases is originated from occupational settings

Keywords: Asbestos, asbestos exposure, pleura, Lung
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