Cigarette Filters Containing Asbestos

The Kent Micronite cigarettes manufactured by Lorillard Tobacco Company between 1952 and 1956 had asbestos filters. The filters were marketed as enhancing the smoking experience while also raising the level of safety. Smoking these cigarettes, on the other hand, resulted in the release of crocidolite asbestos fibers into the lungs. Individuals were put at risk for diseases such as pleural mesothelioma as a result.

Why was Asbestos used in Cigarette Filters in the first place?

Kent Micronite cigarettes manufactured by Lorillard Tobacco Company included asbestos fibers from 1952 to at least the middle of 1956.

According to Lorillard, asbestos was added to the mix in order to offer a finer filtering system. Better filtration of smoke irritants, as well as a more pleasurable smoking experience, were advertised by the manufacturer.

An Overview of the History of Asbestos Cigarette Filters

  • Kent Micronite Cigarettes, Micronite Filter are some of the other names for this product.
  • The following years were produced: 1952 – 1956
  • No, the use of asbestos is not prohibited.

Brands associated with the company include Hollingsworth & Vose Company, H&V Specialties, and the Lorillard Tobacco Company.

From 1952 until 1956, the Kent Micronite cigarette brand, manufactured by Lorillard Tobacco Company, contained crocidolite asbestos. Some data, on the other hand, indicate that the cigarettes were still in circulation after 1956.

Consumers smoked approximately 13 billion Kent cigarettes during this period, according to records.

Crepe-paper cigarette filters contained crocidolite asbestos, which was used to make them. Crocidolite, often known as blue asbestos, is one of the most difficult to come by varieties of the material. Additionally, because of the small size of its fibers, it is regarded to be one of the most deadly types of asbestos. The following asbestos-related disorders are associated with crocidolite asbestos exposure:

  • Asbestosis
  • Cancer of the larynx
  • Lung cancer is a malignancy of the lungs.
  • Cancer of the ovaries
  • Mesothelioma of the pleura
  • Mesothelioma of the peritoneum

Under the name H&V Specialties, Hollingsworth & Vose Company manufactured the filters on behalf of the company. To the rest of the cigarettes, which were packed and marketed by the Lorillard Tobacco Company, the filters were affixed as well.

According to the advertisements, the filters preserved consumer health by filtering out gas and tar from the air. The Micronite filters, according to the firm, provide “the highest health protection in the history of cigarettes.”

These assertions of health protection, on the other hand, were ironic. Cigarette smoking, on its own, is a risk factor for a variety of diseases, including mesothelioma, according to the American Cancer Society. The inclusion of asbestos to cigarette filters increased the severity of these health hazards even further.

When Lorillard decided to discontinue the filters in 1956, it is possible that company managers were aware of the dangers involved. The company president, W.J. Halley, received a memo from a research director in April 1954 informing him that researchers had discovered “traces of mineral fiber” in the smoke.

Lorillard officials were concerned about asbestos, according to a letter written by the president of Hollingsworth & Vose Company two months later. It is the firm view of Lorillard that asbestos should be removed from the Kent cigarette as soon as feasible due to a whispering campaign launched by their competitors about the detrimental consequences of asbestos.

Despite these concerns, it took more than a year and a half before the business decided to discontinue the usage of asbestos in Kent Micronite cigarettes.

Asbestos in Cigarette Filters Is a Health Hazard

Mesothelioma and lung cancer are among the major diseases that can be caused by asbestos exposure. Individuals who inhale the fibers may have this symptom. Kent Micronite cigarettes included asbestos fibers, and smokers ran the risk of inhaling asbestos fibers with each puff.

Despite the fact that any level of asbestos exposure can be hazardous, consistent and high levels of exposure can be significantly more deadly.

Kent Micronite cigarettes were studied in 1995 to see how much asbestos they could potentially discharge into the environment. The scientists were able to get complete and unopened packets of cigarettes that were manufactured between 1952 and 1956.

One filter contains around 10 milligrams of crocidolite asbestos, according to the manufacturer.

Individuals who smoke one pack per day would eat more than 131 million crocidolite fibers in a year if they smoked one pack per day.

The researchers came to the conclusion that people who smoke these cigarettes should be alerted about the possibility of “significant exposure” to asbestos.

Kent cigarettes posed a danger of asbestos exposure to a wide range of people, not just those who consumed them. One study looked into the presence of cancer in a group of 33 asbestos filter workers, and the results were negative. The researchers discovered an increased incidence of cancers, including mesothelioma and lung cancer, among the study population. They came to the conclusion that the high rates of incidence and death among the workers could be attributable to the high levels of asbestos exposure.

According to the study’s authors, the rate of cancer incidence was significantly greater than what would be expected in a normal population. For example, it was projected that the total cohort of 33 workers would have just 3.5 cancer cases, as opposed to the actual number of 19 instances. A large number of these workers died as a result of their illnesses. During the ensuing follow-up periods, the researchers discovered that the relative risk of mortality increased. According to published reports, 28 of the 33 workers had died, which was more than three times the anticipated death toll.

To whom is Asbestos exposure through cigarette filters a hazard?

Thousands of people may have been exposed to asbestos through the use of cigarettes that were contaminated with the deadly substance. In this category were both consumers and employees who worked in the cigarette manufacturing industry.

Employees at the Hollingsworth & Vose Company may have been exposed to the chemical during the filter manufacturing process, according to the company. The filters were made utilizing a “dry” procedure that resulted in a significant volume of dust being created. The presence of workers was required during the mixing of asbestos fibers with cotton and acetate before they were carded and put onto crepe paper.

Personen who are at risk of being exposed to asbestos through cigarette filters

Employees of the Hollingsworth & Vose Company (particularly those in West Groton or Rochdale, Massachusetts).

Is There Anything Else That Affects Metastasis?

Stage

Staging systems are used by doctors to track the progress of mesothelioma. Stage 1 and 2 mesothelioma patients had the greatest prognosis and the lowest chance of metastasis, with an average survival time of two to three years.

When mesothelioma is discovered in its third or fourth stage, the patient is more likely to have already had distant metastases and is at greater risk of developing new ones. In this stage, the cancer has spread to important organs, making treatment the most challenging option available. Treatment options are restricted to symptom management and palliation at this point. As a result, people might expect to live for less than a year as a result of this condition.

Different types of cells

The tumor’s cellular make-up plays a role in how quickly it develops and spreads. Epithelial tumors tend to be less aggressive and spread more slowly, increasing life expectancy.

While sarcomatoid and biphasic mesotheliomas move slowly to other parts of the body, there are fewer treatment choices and a shorter life expectancy for those who are diagnosed with these cancers.

For the record, here’s something interesting:

Patients’ ages, health statuses, and treatment options all play a role in determining life expectancy, as well. Stage of development of the cancer affects life expectancy.

Reaction to a Therapy

There may be a decreased chance of metastatic mesothelioma in early-stage individuals who react well to intensive treatment.

By removing tumors and cancer cells that may have contributed to the spread, surgery can help lessen the chance of metastasis. Chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and a novel family of medications termed anti-angiogenesis therapy can all delay or prevent metastasis.

Radiation therapy is often used to treat cancers that originate in the chest wall because it is particularly effective at avoiding local recurrence.

Tumor Treating Fields, a new FDA-approved treatment for mesothelioma, also slows or prevents metastasis.

Metastatic Mesothelioma Symptoms: What Are They?

Doctors may have difficulty detecting the spread of mesothelioma. Late in the cancer’s growth, distant spread may not generate any symptoms at all.

Because of the site in which the disease has spread, metastatic cancer symptoms are more likely to occur. As a result, there are some common symptoms of mesothelioma and other cancers that are present in patients with metastases of the disease. Imaging scans and other testing frequently reveal metastases by accident, according to doctors.

Cancer of the Liver in the Advanced Stages

  • Pain or discomfort in one’s lower abdomen.
  • Bloating
  • An increase in leg size.
  • Jaundice
  • Adrenal Carcinoma with Metastasis
  • a nagging discomfort in the back
  • Myofascial atrophy
  • Pain or discomfort in the abdomen
  • Loss of weight

Kidney Cancer that has spread

  • Back or side pain
  • Lumpy areas of skin on either side or back
  • Urine containing blood
  • Diabetic hypertension
  • Anemia

Brain Cancer that Has Spread

  • Clumsiness or inability to perform a task well
  • Memory deterioration,
  • severe headaches
  • Seizures
  • Changes in one’s personality can be seen.
  • The way we see things shifts over time.

Cancer of the Spleen That Has Spread Throughout the Body

Constant and excruciating cramping in the stomach

The spleen has ruptured.

Kent cigarette smokers are a minority.

Employees of the Lorillard Tobacco Company’s manufacturing facility (particularly those in Jersey City, New Jersey, or Louisville, Kentucky)

Anyone who smoked Kent Micronite cigarettes or worked in the vicinity of Kent Micronite cigarettes may have been exposed to asbestos. It is possible that asbestos fibers were present in secondhand smoke. If you or a loved one has gotten an asbestos disease as a result of smoking Kent Micronite cigarettes, you may be eligible for compensation.

Myelin sheath The lymphatic system is where the cancer spreads from the original site of infection. The cancer spreads throughout the body via lymphatic capillaries.

Blood. When cancerous cells enter the bloodstream, they begin to spread throughout the body. The cancer spreads to other parts of the body via the circulatory system.
There’s a chance that cancer will spread beyond where it started to other places of your body.

The term “metastasis” refers to cancer that has spread to another section of the body. The lymphatic system and blood are the primary routes by which cancer cells spread after they break free from the initial tumor.

Myelin sheath Lymphoma spreads through the lymphatic system and creates a tumor in another place of the body (metastatic tumor).

Blood. When the cancer enters the bloodstream, it travels through the blood arteries to another area of the body, where it grows into a tumor (metastatic tumor).

There is no difference between primary and metastatic tumors in terms of type of cancer. It is possible for cancer cells in the brain to be malignant mesothelioma cells if they have spread there. Metastatic malignant mesothelioma, not brain cancer, is the ailment in question.

Malignant mesothelioma of the lung is divided into the following stages:
Stage I Stage I is broken down into two sections: IA and IB: in this section:

On one side of the chest, cancer is detected in stage IA in the inner lining of the chest wall. Additionally, cancer may be discovered in one or more of these other areas:
lung’s outermost layer of tissue.

Between the lungs, a thin layer of tissue covers organs.

thin layer of tissue on the diaphragm’s surface.
When a person reaches stage IB, the cancer is located in all of the layers of tissue that cover a lung, the organs that are in between those lungs, and on top of that diaphragm. Cancer has spread to one or more of the following locations on the same side of the chest:

Diaphragm.

Tissue found in the lungs.

Between the ribs and the chest wall’s inner lining.
Between the lungs, there is a lot of fat.
The chest wall’s soft tissues.

Saddlebag around the heart.”

Stage two

On one side of the chest, cancer is diagnosed in stage II in the inner lining of the chest wall. Additionally, cancer may be discovered in one or more of these other areas:

lung’s outermost layer of tissue.
Between the lungs, a thin layer of tissue covers organs.
thin layer of tissue on the diaphragm’s surface.
One of the lymph nodes on the same side of my chest as my tumor has been found to be cancerous.

or

Each of the tiny layers of tissue that cover the lung, the organs between the lungs, and the top of the diaphragm on one side of the chest is covered by cancerous tissue, as is the chest wall itself. One or both of the following organs have also been affected by the malignancy on the same side of the chest:

Diaphragm.

Tissue found in the lungs.

On the side of the chest where the tumor is located, cancer has progressed to lymph nodes.

Stage Three

Stage IIIA and IIIB are subdivided into two separate stages.

At this point, cancer has spread to all three layers of tissue that cover a patient’s lung, as well as to the diaphragm on that side of his or her chest. Cancer has spread to one or more of the following locations on the same side of the chest:

Between the ribs and the chest wall’s inner lining.
Between the lungs, there is a lot of fat.
The chest wall’s soft tissues.
Saddlebag around the heart.”
On the side of the chest where the tumor is located, cancer has progressed to lymph nodes.

There may also be cancerous tissue in the thin layers of tissue that cover one or both of the lungs, between the lungs, and/or on one side of one’s diaphragm in stage IIIB. The cancer may have also spread to one or more of the following areas on the same side of the chest:

Diaphragm.

Tissue found in the lungs.

Between the ribs and the chest wall’s inner lining.

Between the lungs, there is a lot of fat.

The chest wall’s soft tissues.

Saddlebag around the heart.”

lymph nodes on either side of the collarbone, or lymph nodes on either side of the center of the chest, have been infected with malignancy.

or

Each of the tiny layers of tissue that cover the lung, the organs between the lungs, and the top of the diaphragm on one side of the chest is covered by cancerous tissue, as is the chest wall itself. One or more of the following has been infected:

The rib is a part of the chest wall.
The peritoneum is reached via the diaphragm.
tissue that lines the chest on the side of the body where the tumor is located.

Area between the lungs that contains vital organs (esophagus, trachea, thymus, blood vessels).
The vertebrae.

Into the pericardium or into the heart muscle itself.

Lymph nodes may have been affected by cancer spread.

Stage four.

To put it simply: Stage IV cancer has progressed to all or portion of a person’s internal organs, as well as the lymph nodes outside of their chest.

After treatment, malignant mesothelioma might return.

It is possible that the cancer will return to the chest or abdomen, or to other regions of the body, after treatment.

Asbestos Lawsuits, Settlements, and Other Forms of Financial Compensation

Victims of asbestos-filtered cigarettes may be entitled for mesothelioma compensation if they were exposed to the substance. Victims of asbestos exposure, for example, may be qualified to initiate asbestos claims. A successful lawsuit demonstrates that the asbestos company was negligent, and the plaintiffs receive monetary compensation as a result.

In order to launch a complaint against the Lorillard, Hollingsworth & Vose Corporation or any other asbestos-related company, mesothelioma victims should consult with an experienced mesothelioma attorney.

Despite the fact that the corporation only utilized asbestos for a brief period of time, asbestos is still included in court cases today. In 2014, Reynolds American, Inc. acquired Lorillard for an undisclosed sum. Reynolds American, Inc. was left with the liabilities related with Lorillard’s asbestos use, which it has since resolved. According to the company’s most recent financial records, it was a defendant in 48 asbestos filter claims as of 2020.

More than $31 million in settlements for Kent Micronite filter cases have been paid or promised to be paid by Reynolds American, Inc. since January 2018. The company revealed in prior financial reports that it had paid more than $42 million in settlements for asbestos-related litigation between 2014 and 2017.

For a reliable diagnosis of asbestos cancer, the best option is to have a mesothelioma biopsy. In a biopsy, suspicious tissue is taken and evaluated for mesothelioma-like symptoms.

Mesothelioma Biopsy: What Is It and How Is It Performed?

When a biopsy is performed to check for mesothelioma symptoms, a small piece of potentially malignant tissue is removed and examined under the microscope. Diagnosing mesothelioma requires a combination of this test and others, such as x-rays and blood tests. In order to be certain that a mesothelioma diagnosis is correct, a biopsy must be performed.

Samples of tissue must be collected and tested in order for a biopsy to be completed. A pathologist examines the sample under a microscope to see if it contains cancerous cells.

Is it possible to diagnose Mesothelioma without a biopsy?

No, a biopsy is required to confirm a diagnosis of mesothelioma. You need a biopsy to determine what kind of mesothelioma a patient has. Biopsy testing is necessary to confirm the diagnosis of mesothelioma because it is easy for doctors to mistake it for frequent benign illnesses or other types of cancer with similar cell features. Results from a biopsy can take anything from a few days to a week or more.

Feindle aspiration biopsy is often used for patients at risk of peritoneal mesothelioma, while video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery is more effective in treating pleural mesothelioma patients.

Endoscopic biopsies of mesothelioma are available.

It is a noninvasive treatment that involves introducing a camera-equipped endoscope into the body to gather specimens for examination. It is possible to see within the body of a patient using an endoscope, which is a narrow, tube-shaped equipment with a light and a camera attached to one end.

Mesothelioma Endoscopic Biopsies

Thoracoscopy

Using an endoscope, a surgeon can remove excess fluid, inspect the chest’s interior, and collect tissue samples. Patients suspected of having pleural mesothelioma undergo this surgery.

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