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Asbestos Exposure Affects Children Living Near Asbestos Mines

Researchers in Australia are reporting that children who lived in an asbestos mining town decades ago are suffering greatly increased rates of malignant mesothelioma and other cancers and health conditions in adulthood. The town is Wittenoom, in Western Australia, where crocidolite (also known as “blue asbestos”) was mined from the 1930s into the 1960s. Crocidolite is an especially carcinogenic form of asbestos. The research confirms what previous studies have also shown, that simply living in an area of high asbestos fiber concentration is sufficient to cause diseases like mesothelioma, and that it isn’t necessary to actually work directly with the hazardous mineral. Wittenoom is now a ghost town, due to people abandoning it after the disastrous effects of the high levels of asbestos there were discovered.

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