A recent study in Italy connected several women who died from mesothelioma to asbestos-containing doll-making factories.
According to a report published in the April issue of Italian medical journal La Medicina del Lavoro, three cases of pleural mesothelioma were found in women who once made doll clothing in factories. An autopsy performed on one the women, whose original cause of death was listed as unknown, was changed to reflect that she had a high amount of asbestos in her system. The medical examiner’s office used electron microscopy to examine the woman’s chest area.
Lead researcher of the study, Pietrogino Barbieri, wrote that until now, all three women’s deaths were listed as unknown, but all three likely died from excessive asbestos exposure.
“The three cases of mesothelioma in doll production workers suggest that also in this restricted manufacturing sector had occurred an occupational asbestos exposure, which is up to now unknown and isn’t due only to the use of sewing or ironing machines.”
Asbestos in Doll Manufacturing in the U.S.
Asbestos in doll manufacturing in the United States remains poorly researched. Primarily, scientists have researched other types of manufacturing facilities, such as textile plants, chemical plants, and automobile manufacturing centers.
Most of the manufacturing facilities that have been researched were places where men were primarily employed. As of today, men make up the overwhelming majority of people diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases.
Fortunately, the United States no longer has manufacturing centers that use asbestos when making clothing. However, this remains an ongoing problem in developing nations. Countries such as Italy banned asbestos from being imported and exported into the country in 2005. The study was performed on women who worked in the doll clothing factories before the ban took place.
Until now, doll clothing making wasn’t connected with asbestos exposure and asbestos-related deaths.
Women’s Asbestos Exposure
Discovering how women develop mesothelioma remains an ongoing problem, according to Barbieri. The researcher stated that when women are exposed to asbestos, the primary cause is usually attributed to environmental exposure.
“Mesotheliomas in women with no apparent occupational asbestos exposure are normally referred to life or family environmental exposure. Moreover, it is known that occupational asbestos exposure in women is difficult to recognize.”
There are numerous ways that women develop mesothelioma and other asbestos illnesses due to occupational exposure. For instance, classrooms at both public and private schools were once constructed with asbestos materials. Many of the schools are still open today.
Although school districts are supposed to take strict precautions when dealing with schools that were built with asbestos, this doesn’t always guarantee that teachers and even students are completely safe. There have been a number of teachers who died from asbestos complications that were linked back to asbestos in cork boards, walls, and other parts of the school.
Many experts agree that more research is needed into female-dominated occupations, especially manufacturing plants where the employees were primarily female.
Help and Resources for Asbestos Victims
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may be eligible for substantial compensation. Fill out our form to receive our free Financial Compensation Packet. Our packet is loaded with information on leading mesothelioma attorneys in your area, how to file a claim for asbestos trust funds, how to get paid in 90 days, and more. For additional assistance, contact us at 800-793-4540.