SCIENTIFIC Studies

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  • Chrysotile as a Cause of Mesothelioma: An Assessment Based on Epidemiology

    06/01/2006 12:14:00

    One of the most important, recent, epidemiological papers is by Yarborough. His study not only shows that: “[A] review of 71 asbestos cohorts exposed to free asbestos fibers does not support the hypothesis that chrysotile, uncontaminated by amphibolic substances, causes mesothelioma. He also notes that failure to resolve the debate has hampered proper risk assessments: “A firm understanding of any health risks associated with natural chrysotile fibers is crucial for regulatory policy and future risk assessments of synthesized nanomaterials.” The paper underlines that the current mess of regulations and mis-understanding is a reflection of public policies not science.

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  • The expected burden of mesothelioma mortality in Great Britain from 2002 to 2050

    06/01/2005 14:56:00

    This more recent analysis by Hodgson and others modelled the expected burden of mesothelioma mortality in Great Britain based on male mesothelioma deaths from 1968 to 2001 as a function of the rise and fall of asbestos exposure during the 20th century and took into account the difference between fibre types. The models fitted the data to predict exposure patterns compared with the actual exposure patterns based on imports of amosite and crocidolite. The authors now state that chrysotile had zero weight in both the models they constructed. This means that, based on their work, the mesothelioma cases in Great Britain since 1920 can be explained by exposure to a combination of amosite and crocidolite.

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  • The Quantitative Risks of Mesothelioma and Lung Cancer in Relation to Asbestos Exposure

    06/01/2000 14:55:00

    The 2000 paper by Hodgson and Darnton, HSE statisticians, was welcomed by some but heavily criticised by many respected asbestos scientists. However, this work remains the information source of choice for the HSE, politicians and others. Its good point is that it clearly differentiates the specific risk of mesothelioma between the major asbestos types ranking their relative potency as 1:100:500 for chrysotile, amosite, crocidolite respectively. However, the reasons for giving chrysotile even this level of affect are considered by many to be flawed because of the way in which they assessed certain cohorts and it is noticeable that in a later paper chrysotile is removed from the discussion.

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  • Asbestos exposure and mesothelioma in South Africa

    06/01/1999 15:02:00

    In the mesothelioma literature South Africa is known for its crocidolite mines through the seminal paper by Wagner (1960) which identified this rare tumour in people living and working in or near the mines. It is less well-known that South Africa also has chrysotile mines which for decades produced about 100 000 tons of the mineral per year. Mesothelioma has not been found in the miners and millers who worked in these mines. Lees proposes that the for the scarcity or absence of the cancer may be a relative lack of contaminating fibrous tremolite, an amphibole that variably occurs with chrysotile ores.

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