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Published on Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Study claims rag sorting asbestos link

Written by John Mowbray

PRATO - A new study claims there could be a dark side to the much-heralded textile recycling initiatives with which the Italian city of Prato has become synonymous. The research draws claims that rag sorters in Prato have been found to have a higher risk of developing malignant mesothelioma – a fast-growing and incurable cancer linked to asbestos exposure which is normally found in people who have worked in asbestos mines or in an industry where they have come into contact with asbestos containing products. Prato has a rich history and experience in recycling used clothes, rags and other by-products and around 30,000 tons of regenerated textile materials is used annually in the city, leading to 50 million metres of fabric being produced.