Environmental mesothelioma associated with tremolite asbestos: Lessons from the experiences of Turkey, Greece, Corsica, New Caledonia and Cyprus

Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology. 2007 Nov 13 [Epub ahead of print] [Link]

Constantopoulos SH.

University of Ioannina Medical School, Ioannina 451 10, Greece.


Mediterranean regions such as Greece, Turkey, Cyprus, Corsica and New Caledonia have experienced epidemics of malignant mesothelioma as a result of non-occupational, "domestic" exposure to tremolite asbestos and fibrous erionite. This exposure to tremolite asbestos and fibrous erionite is typified "domestic" due to its prevalence in regions with natural deposits of tremolite asbestos (or fibrous erionite) where the material from tremolite asbestos or fibrous erionite is used for domestic applications such as whitewashing. However, these exposures may be useful in examining the potential consequences of even small amounts of amphibole asbestos fibers in the ambient air. It can also elucidate the effects of fibers that behave like amphibole asbestos. However, this type of exposure is not useful for studying the potential effects of small amounts of asbestos in the ambient air of big cities due to the differing nature of the fiber types and modes of exposure between the regions.