Histological findings and lung dust analysis as the basis for occupational disease compensation in asbestos-related lung cancer in Germany

This study has researched the significance of histologically raised findings and lung dust analyses in the context of claiming the recognition of and thus compensation for an asbestos-associated occupational disease. For this approach, all findings from the German Mesothelioma Register in 2015 that included lung dust analyses were evaluated and were compared with information on asbestos fibre exposure at work based on fibre years, and with the results of radiological findings. For 68 insured persons, recognition of an asbestos-induced lung disease according to Section 4104 of the German Ordinance on Occupational Diseases (Berufskrankheitenverordnung – BKV) could be recommended solely on the basis of the histological examinations of lung tissues and complementary lung dust analyses. Neither did the calculation of the cumulative asbestos dust exposure at work yield 25 fibre years, nor could bridge findings (e.g., plaques) be identified. In addition, the autopsies of 12 patients revealed plaques that had not been diagnosed during radiological examinations. These results show that -irrespective of the prescribed working techniques and radiological diagnosis – pathological/anatomical and histological diagnostics are often the only way for the insureds to demonstrate the causal connection between asbestos and their disease. Even after long intervals of up to 40 years post last exposure, the asbestos fibres would still be easily detectable in the lung tissues evaluated. Whenever suitable tissue is available, it should be examined for mild asbestosis with the aid of a lung dust analysis. Otherwise there is a risk that an occupational disease is wrongfully rejected. In the context of health insurance, the lung dust analysis and the resulting proof of the presence of asbestosis often constitutes one option of providing evidence of an occupational disease.

Authors: Feder IS, Theile A, Tannapfel A. ; Full Source: International Journal of Occupational Medicine & Environmental Health. 2017 Nov 2. pii: 69459. doi: 10.13075/ijomeh.1896.01148. [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][Epub ahead of print][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]