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The paper by Weill and colleagues1 requires to be read with great circumspection by those concerned with public health policy. It would be premature for them to conclude from it, that with the decline in US mesothelioma incidence, which the authors associated with the earlier decline in use of amphiboles, the asbestos problem has been largely solved. Expert opinion published by WHO, ILO, and IARC is not so sanguine as them about chrysotile, and it is increasingly acknowledged worldwide that its safe use is not reasonably practicable.
There is a danger of understanding from the authors’ statement: “Asbestosis and asbestos attributable lung cancer have been found to be linked...” that they are asserting that the evolution of interstitial pulmonary fibrosis is a necessary stage in the carcinogenic process in the bronchus (or for that matter in the pleura or in the peritoneum). …