Asbestos Pollution and Its Health Effects: Asbestos-Related Diseases in Japan

  • Kenji Morinaga
  • Yasushi Shinohara


Asbestos-related diseases are disorders that are caused by the inhalation of asbestos dust. They include pulmonary asbestosis (one type of pneumoconiosis), lung cancer, mesothelioma (a malignant neoplasm of the pleura or peritoneum), benign (noncancerous) pleural disorders such as circumscribed pleural thickening known as pleural plaques, pleurisy, and diffuse pleural thickening. Of the asbestos-related diseases, malignant mesothelioma and lung cancer are known to manifest their symptoms only after a long incubation period, which ranges from 20 to 50 years from the first exposure to asbestos. The number of patients who have been compensated has been climbing sharply year by year since 2005. The sharp surge in compensated patients from 2006 is presumed to be an outcome of coverage triggered by the Kubota Shock. The Act on Asbestos Health Damage Relief, enacted on March 27, 2006, granted relief eligibility to victims of asbestos-induced diseases who were not compensated by workers accident compensation.


Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma Malignant Mesothelioma Asbestos Exposure Peritoneal Mesothelioma Pleural Plaque 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors wish to thank Shoko Hayasaki for preparation of the manuscript.


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© Springer 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Asbestos Health Damage ReliefEnvironmental Restoration and Conservation Agency of JapanKawasakiJapan
  2. 2.National Institute of Occupational Safety and HealthKawasakiJapan

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