Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma in a Patient with History of Environmental Exposure to Asbestos: A Case Report in Thailand


  • Pitchayaporn Poonnak Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Hospital
  • Supakorn Chansaengpetch Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University
  • Narongpon Dumavibhat Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University
  • Preedewat Premboonchuen Department of Diagnostic and Therapeutic Radiology, Faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University
  • Piboon Issaraphan Department of Disease Control, Ministry of Health
  • Wichai Tipayadarapanich Department of Pathology, Lampang Hospital
  • Yupa Juangpolngam Department of Occupational Health, Lampang Hospital
  • Arunee Pholngam Department of Occupational Health, Lampang Hospital


mesothelioma, asbestos, environmental exposure, construction materials


Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a rare but fatal cancer associated with past asbestos exposure. Well-known asbestos-containing materials include roof and ceiling tiles. Alarmingly, asbestos continues to be imported and used in Thailand. The following case pinpoints the potential relevance between environmental asbestos exposure and MPM in a 66-year-old Thai male. The diagnosis was confirmed by histopathology presenting sarcomatoid MPM. After a thorough investigation, no occupational exposure to asbestos was identified. However, approximately twenty years ago, he had a history of closely supervising the construction of his own house including ceiling tile cutting without personal protective equipment use. He subsequently died of this incurable disease within a year after diagnosis. Herein, this case report emphasizes the importance of environmental asbestos exposure as a cause of MPM and the urgent need to eliminate asbestos use. 


Download data is not yet available.


Robinson BM. Malignant pleural mesothelioma: an epidemiological perspective. Ann Cardiothorac Surg 2012;1(4):491–6.

Liu B, van Gerwen M, Bonassi S, Taioli E. Epidemiology of environmental exposure and malignant mesothelioma. J Thorac Oncol 2017;12(7):1031–45.

Sekido Y. Molecular pathogenesis of malignant mesothelioma. Carcinogenesis 2013;34(7):1413–9.

Noonan CW. Environmental asbestos exposure and risk of mesothelioma. Ann Transl Med 2017;5(11):234.

Thomas A, Karakattu S, Cagle J, Hoskere G. Malignant pleural mesothelioma epidemiology in the United States from 2000 to 2016. Cureus 2021;13(4):e14605.

Milano MT, Zhang H. Malignant pleural mesothelioma: a population-based study of survival. J Thorac Oncol 2010;5(11):1841–8.

Marsh GM, Riordan AS, Keeton KA, Benson SM. Non-occupational exposure to asbestos and risk of pleural mesothelioma: Review and meta-analysis. Occup Environ Med 2017;74(11):838–46.

Bourdès V, Boffetta P, Pisani P. Environmental exposure to asbestos and risk of pleural mesothelioma: review and meta-analysis. Eur J Epidemiol 2000;16(5):411–7.

World Health Organization. Asbestos: Elimination of asbestos-related diseases [Internet]. 2022 [cited 2022 Apr 25]. Available from:

Choi S, Suk MH, Paik NW. Asbestos-containing materials and airborne asbestos levels in industrial buildings in Korea. J UOEH 2010;32(1):31–43.

Kang D, Jung S, Kim YJ, Kim J, Choi S, Kim SY, et al. Reconstruction of the Korean asbestos job exposure matrix. Saf Health Work 2021;12(1):74–95.

Ferrante D, Mirabelli D, Tunesi S, Terracini B, Magnani C. Pleural mesothelioma and occupational and non-occupational asbestos exposure: A case-control study with Quantitative Risk Assessment. Occup Environ Med 2016;73(3):147–53.

Olsen NJ, Franklin PJ, Reid A, de Klerk NH, Threlfall TJ, Shilkin K, et al. Increasing incidence of malignant mesothelioma after exposure to asbestos during home maintenance and renovation. Med J Aust 2011;195(5):271–4.

Frost G. The latency period of mesothelioma among a cohort of British asbestos workers (1978–2005). Br J Cancer 2013;109(7):1965–73.

Klebe S, Leigh J, Henderson DW, Nurminen M. Asbestos, smoking and lung cancer: an update. Int J Environ Res Public Health 2020;17(1):258.

Alpert N, van Gerwen M, Taioli E. Epidemiology of mesothelioma in the 21st century in Europe and the United States, 40 years after restricted/banned asbestos use. Transl Lung Cancer Res 2020;9(Suppl 1):S28-S38.

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Mesothelioma in Australia 2020 [Internet]. 2020 [cited 2022 Apr 25]. Available from:

Park EK, Yates DH, Hyland RA, Johnson AR. Asbestos exposure during home renovation in New South Wales. Med J Aust 2013;199(6):410–3.


2022-09-13 — Updated on 2022-09-15


How to Cite

Poonnak P, Chansaengpetch S, Dumavibhat N, Premboonchuen P, Issaraphan P, Tipayadarapanich W, Juangpolngam Y, Pholngam A. Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma in a Patient with History of Environmental Exposure to Asbestos: A Case Report in Thailand . JPMAT [Internet]. 2022 Sep. 15 [cited 2023 Jan. 27];12(2):445-53. Available from: