Mesothelioma in Cyprus.

Publication Type
Journal Article
Year of Publication
McConnochie, K; Simonato, L; Mavrides, P; Christofides, P; Mitha, R; Griffiths, D M; Wagner, J C
IARC Sci Publ
Date Published
Air Pollutants; Animals; Asbestos; Asbestos, Amphibole; Asbestos, Crocidolite; Asbestos, Serpentine; Cyprus; Humans; Lung; Mesothelioma; Mining; Pleural Neoplasms; Radiography; Sheep; Silicic Acid

For many years, the main source of asbestos in Cyprus was thought to be the chrysotile mine in the central mountains. When a woman, who had no connection with the mine, developed mesothelioma, it was surprising to discover tremolite asbestos bodies within her lung. However, further studies have shown that tremolite occurs as a contaminant within the chrysotile ore body. In this study we have shown that both chrysotile and tremolite can be found in domestic and environmental samples throughout the mountain region; in particular, numerous fine fibres of both materials are present in stucco. Preliminary radiological studies have shown pleural disease in the village population and 5 out of 13 known cases of mesothelioma have arisen in persons unconnected with the mine. This suggests an environmental contribution to asbestos-related disease on the island.