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Mesothelioma in Cyprus: the role of tremolite.
  1. K McConnochie,
  2. L Simonato,
  3. P Mavrides,
  4. P Christofides,
  5. F D Pooley,
  6. J C Wagner
  1. Department of Tuberculosis and Chest Diseases, University of Wales College of Medicine, Llandough Hospital, Penarth, South Glamorgan, United Kingdom.


    There is a chrysotile mine in the central mountains of Cyprus but no other appreciable source of industrial asbestos. Hence the island was thought to offer ideal conditions to seek pure chrysotile induced mesothelioma. The first reported case was a village woman whose lung tissue contained amphibole asbestos fibres, which were later identified as tremolite. This began a search for the origin of her exposure to asbestos. Our studies have shown that tremolite is widespread, being found, along with chrysotile, in domestic and environmental dust samples. Other cases of mesothelioma have been diagnosed, and the pattern of their distribution suggests that the mine is not the major source of disease. Exposure to tremolite is equally, if not more, important.

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