Beer laced with asbestos from the 1970s could be behind rise in cancer

It has been reported that beer laced with asbestos back in the 1970s could be behind a rise in gullet cancer cases, scientists say.

The deadly fibres were used in breweries to filter impurities from the drink until the 1980s.

Some pub owners even added a handful to leftover beer at the end of a shift for ‘cleansing’ so it could be served to unsuspecting punters the next day.

Experts at the universities of Cambridge and Liverpool suspect exposure to asbestos through poisoned pints may be one of the reasons behind a fourfold increase in oesophageal cancers.

There are 25 new cases each day and it is the 14th most common type, according to Cancer Research UK.

Dr Jonathan Rhodes, from the University of Liverpool, told The Sun: ‘Asbestos from beer consumed before around 1980 seems a plausible factor.’

Cases have risen over the last 50 years, with 90 per cent occurring in men, and it currently kills almost 8,000 Brits each year.

But other experts said the poisonous substance was also used in the production of other food products.

Andy Tighe, of the British beer and Pub association, said: ‘It’s difficult to associate health impacts from any one potential source.’

Read the full article here.

Whilst we have lots of experience in finding asbestos in breweries, it has only recently come to light that this could result into contamination of the product itself. You can visit one of our case studies on an asbestos survey to a brewery here.

If you would like to find more about where you might come across asbestos during your everyday life, why not you attend an Asbestos Awareness Training Course? Find out more here.

Check out our News story regarding Mesothelioma here.

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