Pleural mesothelioma and household asbestos exposure

Rev Environ Health. 1996 Jan-Jun;11(1-2):65-70. doi: 10.1515/reveh.1996.11.1-2.65.


This article discusses the development of asbestos-induced malignant mesotheliomas after non-occupational environmental exposure to asbestos through contact with occupationally exposed household members. In our policlinic, we have seen six fatal pleural mesothelioma cases (five wives and one son of asbestos-industry workers) with no history of occupational asbestos exposure. In five women, a causal relation was established between the fatal disease and inhalation of asbestos fibers while cleaning the contaminated work-clothes and shoes of their husbands at home. The son had also been exposed to asbestos throughout his childhood during daily visits with his father at the workplace.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Air Pollution, Indoor / adverse effects*
  • Asbestos / adverse effects*
  • Family Health*
  • Female
  • Germany
  • Household Work
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Male
  • Mesothelioma / etiology*
  • Middle Aged


  • Asbestos