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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 131-136

Asbestosis: Past voices from the Mumbai factory floor

Department of Public Health, Jamsetji Tata Centre for Disaster Management, School of Habitat, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Abhijeet V Jadhav
Saraswati Colony, Old Ausa Road, Latur - 413 512, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5278.111758

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Background: Asbestos's production, processing, and consumption is on very high scale in India and it is increasing, and so do the related diseases. Asbestosis is such a disease which causes progressive respiratory disability. Aim: To find out perceptions and thinking about this disease and its risk among the patients which will help in constructing an effective community-based prevention and rehabilitation program. Materials and Methods: It was a community-based, qualitative study using a semi-structured interview schedule with 17 asbestosis patients from Mumbai, disgnosed by specialist with pulmonary function test and X-rays as per International Labour Organisation's recommandations. Results: The risk percived by the patients is very less and attitude toward the illness is bengine as there is no clear understanding about the causation. The prolong latent period appears to be the main cause. It suggests a need of very strong program for prevention of asbestosis with the incorporation of worker awareness and eduaction for safety. The socio-economical status and educational levels of the workers make this floating population more vulnarable for manipulation by the corporates. Conclusion: Apart from the radical step of ban on asbestos, there is a need of community-based sustainable, affordable, and accessible rehabilitation program with a component of palliative care which will consider the different needs of this marginalized group. The need for such a program is intense as the number of asbestisis patients will keep on increasing till 30 to 40 years of asbestos ban.


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