Mesothelioma and other asbestos conditions are commonly associated with occupations such as tradesmen, teachers, firefighters and hospital staff. A new report has found that winemakers could also be at risk.

The report, by Dr Nemo and Silvestri from the Institute for Study and Prevention of Cancer in Florence, documents a man who worked for an Italian winemaker between approximately 1960 and 1988 who has been diagnosed with mesothelioma. Asbestos was used as a filter to treat impurities in wine. The filter was made by dispersing asbestos and diatomite, a sedimentary deposit, in the wine.

It is thought that exposure to asbestos will have occurred when the man mixed dry chrysotile (white asbestos) into the wine. There may also have been asbestos exposure when changing the filter. As winemakers did not usually monitor the levels of asbestos in the air, it was difficult for the Doctors to calculate the levels of exposure.


This is not the first case of someone working in the wine industry being diagnosed with mesothelioma. The Italian National Mesothelioma Register has recorded eight cases of mesothelioma in people who have worked in winemaking since 1993. However, this is the first case where the sufferer’s only known asbestos exposure was in winemaking, all of the other cases had other known exposure to asbestos in other occupations.

This report highlights the lasting legacy of asbestos and shows that there is still so much we do not know about asbestos.

Image credits:

Header – UC Davis Edu

Body – Executive Networking Alliance

 If you or a family member are suffering from an asbestos disease, contact Asbestos Justice on 0800 038 6767 for expert legal advice.



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