New information on Asbestos

As published in the International Commission on Occupation Health – ICOH Volume 16, Number 2 August 2018

“The ICOH Working Group on Occupational Cancer has strongly supported a review of asbestos related issues. One recent initiative started by Prof. Ken Takahashi was to agree on a series of scientific papers on asbestos in various countries in collaboration with the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. It is called Special Issue “Global Panorama of National Experiences in Public Health Actions to Ban Asbestos”. A fair number of papers have already been published by the IJERPH, such as those on Australia, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Sweden, Italy, Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, Canada, United States, Germany and others. I had a major role in an editorial type of paper of the Panorama Series called “Global Asbestos Disaster”. The paper comes to an annual new number of asbestos related deaths globally: 255,000 deaths which is well over the past WHO and ILO Estimates that were based on the knowledge some 20 years ago – I recall to my statement in the ILO-ISSA World Congress in Sao Paulo in 1998 where I presented the ILO estimates that 100,000 people are dying annually from asbestos exposures. I thought that I said something strong and radical but time has overtaken and new knowledge ridicules old estimates. The new estimate means that every 20 tons of asbestos produced and consumed will kill one person, maybe in another continent or region.”