A graphic TV ad depicting one of the deadliest consequences of consuming too much alcohol has also thrust the dangers of asbestos back into the spotlight. The controversial ad, released during Alcohol Awareness Week, shows a tumor slowly growing in the bottom of a beer glass in unison every swig the drinker takes. The narrative is equally as sobering. The announcer states that “the World Health Organization classifies alcohol as a Group 1 Carcinogen.”

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the International Agency for Research on Cancer also classify alcohol as a Group 1 Carcinogen.

Other Group 1 Carcinogens include both firsthand and secondhand tobacco smoke, and asbestos. Like asbestos and tobacco, the ad says, alcohol can cause cancer. The similarities don’t stop there. Also like asbestos and tobacco, alcohol increases the risk of specific types of cancer. Alcohol increases the risk of bowel, mouth, pharyngeal (throat), oesophageal (food pipe), laryngeal (voice box), breast, and liver cancer.

Tobacco is responsible for 87% of lung cancer deaths, and it increases the risk of cancers of the larynx (voice box), pharynx (throat), esophagus, stomach, pancreas, kidney, bladder, uterus, cervix, colon/rectum, and ovaries (mucinous). Tobacco also increases the risk of cancers of the mouth, lips, nasal cavity (nose) and sinuses, and the risk of acute myeloid leukemia.

Unlike alcohol and tobacco, however, asbestos is solely responsible for several types of mesothelioma cancer including pleural mesothelioma, peritoneal mesothelioma, pericardial mesothelioma, and testicular mesothelioma.

According to the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health (NCI NIH), evidence also suggests that people with pleural disease caused by exposure to asbestos may be at increased risk for lung cancer.

These are not the only overwhelming observations researchers have made about alcohol and asbestos. In fact, the NCI published a startling fact about the contents of some alcohol in a National Cancer Institute Fact Sheet titled “Alcohol and Cancer Risk.” The Fact Sheet states that:

Alcoholic beverages may also contain a variety of carcinogenic contaminants that are introduced during fermentation and production, such as nitrosamines, phenols, hydrocarbons, and asbestos fibers.

Alcohol Awareness Week launched Monday November 18, 2013. While it succeeded at raising awareness about the dangers of consuming too much alcohol, it (along with the NCI) also directed the public’s attention to the disturbing connections between alcohol and asbestos.

For more information about asbestos and asbestos-related diseases such as mesothelioma, request a free copy of 100 Questions & Answers About Mesothelioma at www.mesotheliomabook.com. To watch the TV ad about the relationship between alcohol consumption, asbestos, and cancer risk, visit Sky | Tyne and Wear.

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it is important to understand your rights as a victim of this devastating disease. The legal team at MRHFM can help. In fact, MRHFM is the largest firm devoted exclusively to helping mesothelioma victims and their families. Contact the legal team at MRHFM today by email or call us at 866-373-5000.


American Cancer Society
Tobacco-Related Cancers Fact Sheet

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

International Agency for Research on Cancer

National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health (NCI NIH)
Alcohol and Cancer Risk Fact Sheet
Asbestos Exposure and Cancer Risk

Tyne and Wear
Sky | Tyne and Wear

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)