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.
While the main cause of lung cancer at the present time is cigarette smoking it can also result from occupational exposure to asbestos. Weiss reviewed studies of lung cancer in groups of workers who had been exposed to asbestos and developed asbestosis. He found that the studies indicated that asbestosis is a much better predictor of excess lung cancer risk than measures of exposure and could be used as a marker for lung cancer cases attributed to asbestos.
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