A new study has come out that revealed that almost half of the Thailand general population had some form of asbestos in their lungs. Asbestos is an extremely dangerous mineral that can cause many different health problems. In the case of Thai citizens, the asbestos will be causing health issues in the lungs. However, asbestos causes health issues with any area it comes into contact with.
When asbestos comes into contact with the tissue of the lungs, the small fibers lodge themselves deep into the tissue. The tissue then reacts to the foreign fibers, causing the many different types of asbestos related disease. Some of these diseases include pleural thickening and asbestosis. Asbestos exposure in the lungs can also cause cancer. Some of these cancers include asbestos related lung cancer and mesothelioma.
According to this new study, almost half of the population of Thailand could have asbestos fibers in their lungs. The study was on 200 bodies that were autopsied. Of the 200 bodies, 97 were found to have asbestos in their lungs. The bodies were chosen regardless of age, sex, and cause of death, meaning that the study could not have been scewed by selecting people who had died because of asbestos related lung cancers or diseases.
The amount of asbestos that was shown to be in Thai citizen’s lungs was much higher than has been previously recorded. A previous study done in 1985 revealed that only 33% of Thai citizens had asbestos fibers in their lungs. This is much less than the recently revealed 50% of Thai citizens that have asbestos fibers in their lungs.
Although Thailand enacted a partial ban against select types of asbestos in 2001, they still use a large amount of asbestos across many industries. For example, Thailand till uses asbestos in the production of many of their building materials, something that the United States banned a long time ago. They also import a much larger amount of asbestos proportionally in comparison to other countries where asbestos exposure is less common, such as the United States.
The amount of asbestos still used in the Thai building and automobile industries most likely has something to do with the amount of people being exposed to asbestos. Although there are not many cases of mesothelioma reported, no amount of asbestos exposure is considered safe, and any amount of asbestos fibers in the lungs will cause irritation and pain. Thailand must work to keep asbestos out of their industries if they want to lower the amount of the mineral people are exposed to.