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A Lie Told a Million Times is Still a Lie

Recently, an advertisement appeared in the Hindustan Times, “Blast Those Myths About Asbestos Cement.” The notice that the ad was paid for by the Asbestos Cement Products Association may very well be the only factual statement printed.

The manufacturers proudly proclaim, “Only safe White Fibre is Used in Manufacturing of Asbestos cement products in India.” Safe white fibre? Do they mean chrysotile? Let’s examine what real experts have to say about chrysotile:

Since asbestos is the major cause of mesothelioma, and chrysotile constitutes 95% of all asbestos use worldwide, it can be concluded that chrysotile asbestos is the main cause of pleural mesothelioma in humans. Smith AH, Wright CC. Am J Ind Med. 1998 Jan; 33(1):94-6.

Chrysotile with little contamination of tremolite can lead to early development of malignant mesothelioma when heavily exposed from childhood at a company residence with household exposure. Yano E, Wang ZM, Wang XR, Wang MZ, Takata A, Kohyama N, Suzuki Y. Am J Ind Med. 2009 Apr; 52(4):282-7.

The cluster of 14 mesothelioma cases among workers who were active in the mine and 13 among other people exposed to Balangero chrysotile provides further evidence that tremolite-free chrysotile is carcinogenic. Mirabelli D, Calisti R, Barone-Adesi F, Fornero E, Merletti F, Magnani C. Occup Environ Med. 2008 Dec; 65(12):815-9.

This study confirms the findings from previous investigations of excess mortality from lung cancer and asbestosis and a strong exposure-response relation between estimated exposure to chrysotile and mortality from lung cancer and asbestosis. Hein MJ, Stayner LT, Lehman E, Dement JM. Occup Environ Med. 2007 Sep; 64(9):616-25.

The hypothesis that tremolite-free chrysotile caused no lung cancer was rejected. Ogden TL. Ann Occup Hyg. 2009; 53(4):307–309.

There are excessive risks of lung cancer and mesothelioma among workers exposed to chrysotile fiber alone. Li L, Sun TD, Zhang X, Lai RN, Li XY, Fan XJ, Morinaga K. Biomed Environ Sci. 2004 Dec; 17(4):459-68.

The conclusion is that in order to ensure adequate protection, there is no alternative to a total ban. The evidence for carcinogenicity of chrysotile is as good as for the amphiboles… Terracini B. Med Lav. 2006 Mar-Apr; 97(2):383-92.

Remind the Asbestos Cement Products Manufacturers Association (ACPMA) that a lie told a million times is still a lie. It’s time to ban all forms of asbestos. Contact them at acpma@sify.com

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