The science of asbestos: A survey of experts

Michael P. Tremoglie Oct. 12, 2011, 10:00am


WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) - There are some who say all forms of asbestos are unsafe and to be exposed to any amount is hazardous, while others say that one form of asbestos can be handled safely. Then there are some who are not sure.

Some of the leading scientific researchers, experts in the field of mesothelioma research and occupational medicine, have divergent opinions on the nature of the hazards caused by asbestos.

Four scientists were asked four questions about asbestos. Each one of them has distinguished themselves in some way in the field of asbestos science.

One of them was an American Cancer Society Research Scholar. One was the recipient of the Collegium Ramazzini's Irving Selikoff Award and recently made a discovery in the field. One is an official with the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. One received an award by the American Thoracic Society.

The questions asked of the researchers were:

-Is it true that there is no general consensus that chrysotile causes mesothelioma?

-Is it true that there is controversy that crocidolite is the most dangerous type of asbestos in terms of causing mesothelioma?

-Is it true that much of the science, about asbestos and its toxicity, has been influenced by the litigation? Have studies funded by companies and or lawyers or politically ideological groups been tendentious because of the money involved? and

-Is it possible to reconstruct how someone who has mesothelioma was exposed to asbestos by working with brake shoes or in some other occupationally related manner, if it occurred several decades earlier?

None of the scientists interviewed currently participate in asbestos litigation for defendants or for plaintiffs.

Read the complete story at Legal Newsline.

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