Wine Makers at Risk for Mesothelioma

Malignant mesothelioma has been linked to asbestos exposure in many different occupations, such as construction, industrial, manufacturing, and automotive. Another occupation, however, has recently surfaced that may be linked to the development of mesothelioma: wine making.

According to a report published in the Annals of Occupational Hygiene, much of the wine that was made at wine farms from the 1960s until the late 1980s used filters that were “created by dispersing in the wine asbestos fibers.” Authors of the report, Alessandro Nemo and Stefano Silvestri, of Florence’s Institute for Study and Prevention of Cancer, state that mixing the asbestos into the wine filters that needed replacement heightened the risk of workers developing pleural mesothelioma.

Chrystotile asbestos was the only type of asbestos used in the filters, but the report states that at least eight reported mesothelioma cases stem from people who previously worked as wine makers. Yet, since asbestos levels were never monitored in the wine-making industry, experts have to speculate as to how much asbestos fibers may have been released into the air.

Per the Italian National Mesothelioma Register, however, four of the workers were involved in other industries that also used asbestos, making it difficult to determine if their illness came directly from their time spent as wine makers.

“For the information hitherto available, this is the first mesothelioma case with exclusive exposure in the job of wine making,” the authors of the current study said.

Beer-making Also Linked to Mesothelioma

Breweries and beer-making, on the other hand, has been linked to mesothelioma exposure for many decades. In fact, some of the nation’s largest breweries have been linked with asbestos use dating back to the 1800s. In fact, not only were numerous brewery factories constructed with asbestos-containing materials, but some companies used asbestos-filled corks and linings on beer containers.

For instance, in 1892, William Painter, the founder of Philadelphia’s Crown Cork & Seal, discovered that soft drink and beers cans during that era could be sealed more effectively with asbestos-containing corks. However, it was the brewery industry’s excessive use of asbestos in almost every area of the factories that contributed the most to the high number of mesothelioma cases. Some of the popular breweries associated with asbestos use include:

  • National Brewing Company
  • Arizona Brewing Company
  • Pabst Brewing Company
  • Standard Brewing Company
  • Genesee Brewing Company
  • Phillip Schillinger Brewing Company

Mesothelioma still remains a life-threatening disease with no current cure. Although the illness can lie dormant for up to 50 years, once the symptoms kick in, the disease progresses rapidly.

If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or any other asbestos-related illness, you may be eligible for significant compensation, which can help pay for the overwhelming medical expenses associated with these types of diseases. Contact our leading mesothelioma attorneys and let us help you fight for the damages you may qualify for.


  1. Nemo, A & Silvestri, S, “Mesothelioma in a Wine Cellar Man: Deatiled Descriptin of Working Procedures and Past Asbestos Exposure Estimation”, October 8, 2014, Annals of Occupational Hygiene, Epub ahead of print

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