Mesothelioma on the rise - Consumer Drug Report
Malignant Mesothelioma cases expected to rise in Korea

As more and more cases regarding malignant mesothelioma increases in the United States, South Korea has only chipped the iceberg.

On October 2, 2011, South Korea’s Ministry of Environment, the environmental authority of the Republic of Korea, released a report stating that the number of mesothelioma cases will reach its peak by 2045. Mesothelioma is a malignant tumor caused by asbestos, and it covers the lungs, or lining of the pleural or abdominal cavities. This disease requires a thorough medical background check along with an exam to ensure its existence and may take 10-30 years before turning into cancer.

Asbestos is a fibrous mineral which has been used for around 2,000 years. Though it has been shown to cause harm, the manufacturing and construction industry continue to use asbestos even until today. Once asbestos is inhaled it not only remains in the body for life, but it may also cause other harmful diseases such as asbestosis, a type of lung disease, and lung cancer.

The use of asbestos peaked around 1973 and strict laws regarding use of it went into effect in the United States in 1980, followed by the Netherlands which passed regulations in 1991, and Japan which banned the product completely in 2005.

Korea’s government is expected to place a ban on the use of asbestos by 2012 in hopes of preventing 20,000 mesothelioma cases within the next 50 years.



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