Today's post is shared from http://scienceblogs.com/thepumphandle/
Last month, my circa 1980 hand-held hair dryer finally gave out. It was a Christmas present during my first year in college. The motor on the cream-colored Conair didn’t exactly fail, but I had to jiggle the electrical cord in just the right way or it wouldn’t turn on. I bought a new one, and my old one went into the garbage can. But after reading a paper in the latest issue of the International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health (IJOEH), I sort of wish I’d kept it. I knew I had an appliance relic on my hands, but now I’m curious to know whether it contained asbestos.
James Dahlgren, MD and Patrick Talbott published in IJOEH a case report of a 51 year-old former hairdresser from the US who died from peritoneal mesothelioma. This rare form of cancer is caused by asbestos exposure. She worked as a hairdresser in New York from 1976 to 1992 and reported using a hair dryer everyday on her clients.
When she chose a career as a cosmetologist, she likely didn’t know she’d be exposed to asbestos. Dahlgren and Talbott indicate that from 1976 to 1982, she only used hairdryers that contained asbestos (and were manufactured by...