ENDEMIC PLEURAL PLAQUES AND MESOTHELIOMAS IN NORTHERN GREECE, pp. 161 - 174
Authors: Sichletidis Lazaros and Chloros Diamantis
Abstract: Asbestos fibres and other minerals, when present in certain areas of the world, are mainly to blame for the development of endemic pleural plaques, as illustrated in chest x-ray of the inhabitants of those areas.  Mineral fibres when concentrated in traditional materials such as whitewashing were proven to be especially dangerous in Turkey,  in Metsovo in Western Greece,  as well as in the tested area of Almopia, a county of Pella in Northern Greece. In addition to pleural plaques, high frequency of mesothelioma has been found to coexist. [4,5] A higher than expected prevalence of pleural plaques compatible with lesions caused by exposure to mineral fibres has been observed in residents of Almopia, in Central Macedonia, Northern Greece, since early 70’s. From information obtained from elderly residents of the village of Megaplatanos, the population of this area used to whitewash their houses with a material made from “white rocks” extracted from a nearby ravine until 1935. Therefore we decided to carry out an epidemiological study of the population of the seven villages located around the aforementioned ravine in order to estimate the prevalence of pleural plaques. We also performed an environmental study to elucidate the source of the pollution, the type of the offending fibres and their concentration in the air.