Friday February 21, 2020

Experts say, Long-Term Exposure to Asbestos can Trigger Lung Cancer

Asbestos is a group of naturally occurring fibrous minerals that have the potential to cause cancer, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) and other health groups

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Cancer
Asbestos is a group of naturally occurring fibrous minerals that have the potential to cause Cancer, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) and other health groups. Pixabay

After the US health regulators found traces of asbestos in samples from Johnson & Johnson (J&J) baby powder and forced the company to recall 33,000 bottles of talcum powder, physicians in India have warned that long-term exposure of asbestos can trigger lung cancer in children.

Asbestos is a group of naturally occurring fibrous minerals that have the potential to cause cancer, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) and other health groups.

According to media reports, customers should stop using powder from the affected J&J batch ‘immediately’.

In its defence, the 133-year-old J&J said it had launched a review and prior tests have not found asbestos.

The firm is facing thousands of lawsuits from people who claim its talc products caused cancer, which J&J has strongly denied, said media reports.

“The only protection we have against asbestos is knowledge, vigilance and care for our children. If the lungs of children are pre-mature then they are more prone to get affected by asbestos,” Rajesh Chawla, Senior Consultant Respiratory Medicine, Indraprastha Apollo Hospital in New Delhi, told IANS.

“Children, who have accidentally inhaled asbestos, might see the effect after many years. Some can even develop lung cancer. In the advanced stage, one can also suffer from peritoneal mesothelioma,” Chawla explained.

Cancer
Children, who have accidentally inhaled asbestos, might see the effect after many years. Some can even develop lung Cancer. Pixabay

The USFDA has been testing dozens of products for asbestos, a known carcinogen amid rising public concern.

In an earlier statement, J&J said that out of an abundance of caution, “it is initiating a voluntary recall in the United States of a single lot of its Johnson’s Baby Powder in response to a US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) test indicating the presence of sub-trace levels of chrysotile asbestos contamination (no greater than 0.00002%) in samples from a single bottle purchased from an online retailer”.

“Despite the low levels reported and in full cooperation and collaboration with the FDA, JJCI is initiating this voluntary recall of Lot #22318RB of Johnson’s Baby Powder, from which the tested sample was taken,” the company added.

According to Anubhava Patel, Consultant Neonatology and Paediatric at Motherhood Hospital in Noida, asbestos can cause restrictive lung disease and severe respiratory insufficiency.

“Long term inhalation can cause lung cancer (mesothelioma). It’s an occupational health hazard. These days asbestos is found in talcum powder and it is harmful to the kids,” Patel told IANS.

According to a case study on 33 patients, published recently in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, exposure to asbestos-tainted talcum powder may cause malignant mesothelioma, a rare and deadly cancer that affects tissues lining internal organs.

Cancer
Exposure to asbestos-tainted talcum powder may cause malignant mesothelioma, a rare and deadly Cancer that affects tissues lining internal organs. Pixabay

“Exposure to asbestos-contaminated talcum powders can cause mesothelioma. Clinicians should elicit a history of talcum powder usage in all patients presenting with mesothelioma,” the study noted.

“Mesothelioma is considerably a new condition for India, with the first case being reported in 2015. Much of India’s asbestos-related health is primarily occupational and second-hand exposure,” said Manish Mannan, Pediatrics, Paras Hospital in Gurugram.

He added that kids who work with the material in factories are often the victims of diseases derived from asbestos exposure.

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“Patients may not develop symptoms of mesothelioma as these symptoms are typically only discovered in the later stages of the disease. Treatment involved either some form of surgery, radiation or chemotherapy,” Mannan added. (IANS)

Next Story

Know About the Various Sleep Disorders

Having trouble sleeping? It could be a sleep disorder

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Sleep Disorders
It is essential in promoting heart health, muscle repair, cognitive consolidation and limits the onset of sleep disorders. Lifetime Stock

A good nights sleep is extremely significant to our health. If you do not get enough sleep, or sleep at an incorrect time, or sleep in breaks or have been diagnosed with a sleep disorder, this may cause sleep deficiency.

Quality sleep helps regulate a healthy immune system as well as hormones Ghrelin and Leptin that help balance appetite. On average, an adult should sleep for at least seven-nine hours.

The body’s blood pressure is permitted to regulate itself through adequate sleep. It is essential in promoting heart health, muscle repair, cognitive consolidation and limits the onset of sleep disorders. Due to our current lifestyles, we might face trouble sleeping at night; we tend to ignore the signs until the problem escalates.

Sleep Disorders
Insomnia is one of the most common sleep disorders. Lifetime Stock

“Sleep disorders are a group of conditions that affect the aptitude to sleep well on a regular basis. It is a common problem nowadays that coincides with a simple headache and day-to-day stress. When a patient walks in for a headache which is a common neurological disorder, 60-70 per cent of the time it is related to disrupted sleep,” says Dr Rima Chaudhari, Consultant Neurologist, Fortis Hospital, Mulund.

Insomnia is known to be the most common sleep disorder, But, there are more sleep disorders one should know of that affect health and lifestyle.

Sleep Apnoea

This is a serious sleep disorder where breathing frequently stops and starts again, this causes the oxygen level in the blood to drop. It may therefore hamper oxygen supply to the brain and the rest of the body; our body senses this occurrence and disrupts one’s sleep, to ensure that the individual breathes again. Common symptoms of sleep apnoea are snoring, wheezing for air, and waking up with a dry mouth.

Restless legs syndrome

It is a neurological disorder where a person gets an urge to move his/her legs constantly. People with this condition experience discomfort or twitchiness (ache or burning) in their legs after going to sleep. As it typically disturbs sleep, it is considered as a sleep disorder.

Sleep paralysis

Sleep Disorders
Sleep disorders are a group of conditions that affect the aptitude to sleep well on a regular basis. Lifetime Stock

Sleep paralysis is a disorder where a person is unable to move or speak when waking up and falling asleep. A person may also tend to hallucinate in this case. Patients experience a certain pressure and instant fear, as they have a feeling of being conscious but are unable to move.

Circadian rhythm disorder

This is a type of disorder which usually happens when a person’s internal biological clock is not in sync with external time cues. This sleeping pattern is usually hindered by two or more hours, especially when a person goes to sleep later at night or sleeps later in the morning. This is reported commonly amongst those who work night shifts, experience repetitive jet lag, or having an irregular sleep cycle.

Insomnia

Insomnia is a very common type of sleep disorder in which people have trouble falling and or staying asleep. They tend to sleep during the daytime, and are constantly low on energy or irritable.

Tips to get better sleep at night:

– Maintain good sleep hygiene and set a bedtime schedule

– Reduce coffee intake in the evenings and at night

Also Read- Follow These Tips For a Better Mental Health

– Decrease screen time, especially for a few hours before bedtime

– Exercise regularly

– Avoid afternoon or early evening naps if you have trouble sleeping at night

– Take a relaxing hot bath or shower before getting into bed (IANS)