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World Health Organization and International Agency for Research on Cancer Declare All Forms of Asbestos Dangerous

March 5, 2013 – The World Health Organization (WHO) and International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has released a joint statement affirming that all forms of asbestos are found to cause cancer in humans.  The statement declares that there is no safe form of asbestos, and the only way to eliminate the risk of cancer is to stop the use of asbestos in any form.  Asbestos is known to cause mesothelioma, a form of cancer that infects the lining of the lungs and other bodily cavities, as well as other illnesses such as asbestosis and other lung cancers.

The statement was issued as a response to an article that appeared recently in a medical journal.  The article cited a possible conflict of interest with the IARC’s participation in a conference with the Russian Scientific Research Institute of Occupational Health, held in Kiev, Ukraine.  The two organizations are collaborating on a study involving cancer among chrysotile workers in Asbest, Russia.  The IARC signed on as an epidemiological reference for the study, but the lead author of the research is Evgeny Kovalesky, a promoter of chrysotile asbestos.

Russia is known to have a very active asbestos industry, and chrysotile is the most common form of asbestos fiber in use today.  The WHO and IARC stated the importance of the study in quantifying the risk of cancers linked to chrysotile exposure, as well as identifying other cancer risks that could be related to chrysotile.  At the upcoming Rotterdam Convention, participating countries will determine whether to add chrysotile to its list of hazardous substances, which would require countries importing chrysotile to be informed of the risks and state their consent.

It is anticipated that Russia may try to prevent chrysotile from being added to the list, which has raised suspicions about the nature of the study.  Because of its conflict of interest with the asbestos industry, WHO had rescinded the Russian Scientific Research Institute’s status as a WHO collaborating center.  Former US Assistant Surgeon General, Richard Lemen, is among numerous prominent medical researchers that discouraged the IARC from participating in the study.  The IARC and WHO have stated that they are aware of the potential conflict and will maintain rigorous standards to protect the integrity of the research.

Shein Law of Pennsylvania and New Jersey Advocates for Asbestos Exposure Victims

If you or a loved one is suffering from an asbestos-related disease, such as lung cancer, mesothelioma or asbestosis, you may be entitled to compensation.  Call the asbestos lawyers of the Shein Law of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. We have fought for the rights of asbestos exposure victims for over 30 years and we can help you. We are local attorneys providing personal attention to every client. To discuss your case with one of our asbestos lawyers, contact the Shein Law today toll free at 877-SHEINLAW (743-4652) or contact us online.

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