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Reanalysis of non-occupational exposure to asbestos and the risk of pleural mesothelioma
  1. Murray M Finkelstein1,2
  1. 1Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  2. 2Department of Family Medicine, McMaster University Faculty of Health Sciences, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr Murray M Finkelstein, Department of Family Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5R 2V8, Canada; murray.finkelstein{at}

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Marsh and colleagues1 have published a review and meta-analysis of non-occupational exposure to asbestos and the risk of pleural mesothelioma. They confirmed that non-occupational exposures to asbestos fibres are associated with a large increased risk of pleural mesothelioma and reported a fibre-type potency difference for non-occupational exposures. A major problem with assessing fibre-type differences is the very few studies in which fibre type can be unambiguously identified. Given the paucity of studies, it is important to have data from the most recent studies with the largest number of cases.

Marsh used PubMed to locate relevant studies. Of the four chrysotile studies they identified, there were one each from Egypt2 and France3 and two …

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  • Contributors MMF is the sole contributor to this letter.

  • Competing interests MMF has testified before the Quebec Workers Compensation Appeals Tribunal on behalf of the Quebec Asbestos Miners Union. MMF has served as an expert witness for plaintiff’s attorneys in the American legal system.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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