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Prevention of Asbestos-Related Disease in Countries Currently Using Asbestos

Environment and Primary Prevention, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome 00161, Italy
Professor of Biostatistics, University of Turin (Now Retired), Turin 10124, Italy
Instituto de Saude Coletiva, Universidade Federal da Bahia, Salvador 40110-040, Brazil
Departamento de Ingeniería Civil y Ambiental/Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá 110231, Colombia
WHO Collaborating Centre for Environmental Health in Contaminated Sites, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome 00161, Italy
Department of History and Cultures, University of Bologna, Bologna 40126, Italy
International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon 69372, France
Serviço de Medicina, FUNDACENTRO, São Paulo 05409-002, Brazil
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Nelson Gouveia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(5), 494;
Received: 20 March 2016 / Revised: 11 April 2016 / Accepted: 29 April 2016 / Published: 12 May 2016
PDF [327 KB, uploaded 12 May 2016]


More than 40 years of evaluation have consistently confirmed the carcinogenicity of asbestos in all of its forms. This notwithstanding, according to recent figures, the annual world production of asbestos is approximatively 2,000,000 tons. Currently, about 90% of world asbestos comes from four countries: Russia, China, Brazil and Kazakhstan; and the wide use of asbestos worldwide represents a global threat. The purpose of this paper is to present a review of the asbestos health impact and to discuss the role of epidemiological investigations in countries where asbestos is still used. In these contexts, new, “local” studies can stimulate awareness of the size of the problem by public opinion and other stakeholders and provide important information on the circumstances of exposure, as well as local asbestos-related health impacts. This paper suggests an agenda for an international cooperation framework dedicated to foster a public health response to asbestos, including: new epidemiological studies for assessing the health impact of asbestos in specific contexts; socio-cultural and economic analyses for contributing to identifying stakeholders and to address both the local and global implications of asbestos diffusion; public awareness on the health and socio-economic impact of asbestos use and banning. View Full-Text
Keywords: asbestos; prevention; Latin America; international cooperation; asbestos-contaminated communities asbestos; prevention; Latin America; international cooperation; asbestos-contaminated communities
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Marsili, D.; Terracini, B.; Santana, V.S.; Ramos-Bonilla, J.P.; Pasetto, R.; Mazzeo, A.; Loomis, D.; Comba, P.; Algranti, E. Prevention of Asbestos-Related Disease in Countries Currently Using Asbestos. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 494.

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