Can Asbestos Exposure Cause Bladder Cancer?

Research on the link between asbestos exposure and bladder cancer is extremely limited, and mixed.  In general, however, there is insufficient evidence to suggest that asbestos exposure is directly related to bladder cancer.

Scientific Research on Asbestos and Bladder Cancer

One study conducted on subjects living in residences with asbestos insulation, published in the peer-reviewed journal The Lancet [1], found no difference in incidences of bladder cancer between exposed residents and the non-exposed control group.

On the contrary, another Italian study[2] presented 23 cases of renal system tumors, including bladder cancer, among known asbestos-exposed workers.  Although this study does not demonstrate a definitive link between asbestos and patient tumors, it does suggest that there is an “[urgent] need to implement measures to protect workers and their families” from suspected carcinogenic risks of asbestos exposure.

Most studies have had insufficient cases to draw any causal, or even statistically significant correlative connections, and the Veterans Administration (VA) has ruled against [3] veterans who demonstrated asbestos exposure while in the regular course of duty, who were seeking compensation for asbestos exposure-related bladder cancer.