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We reviewed the letter submitted by Finkelstein1 regarding our paper evaluating the risk of pleural mesothelioma from non-occupational asbestos exposure.2 Finkelstein indicated that, in addition to two Canadian studies in our analysis,3 4 a third unpublished report was produced in 2004 by Quebec Public Health.5 It is unclear if Finkelstein is suggesting that the Quebec report is an update to both Camus3 and McDonald,4 but it should be noted that although the study populations were similar, case ascertainment was different. Finkelstein1 cited that the historical progression of case ascertainment for pleural mesothelioma among women with neighbourhood exposure in the Quebec mining regions was 0 cases in 1980,4 7 cases in 19983 and 17 cases in 2004.5 However, in 2004, Quebec Public Health only reported a total of 10 cases of pleural mesothelioma among women …
Contributors GMM had the idea for the manuscript and was responsible for the overall quality of the work. He also drafted the text and assisted with the biostatistical approach to the analysis. ASR, KAK and SMB were responsible for drafting the text. ASR was responsible for conducting the analyses.
Competing interests All authors are employed by Cardno ChemRisk, a consulting firm that provides scientific advice to the government, corporations, law firms and various scientific/professional organisations. GMM is also professor of biostatistics, epidemiology and clinical and translational science and director of the Center for Occupational Biostatistics and Epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh, Graduate School of Public Health. Cardno ChemRisk has been engaged by Schellenberg Wittmer, a law firm in Switzerland, to provide general consulting and expert advice on scientific matters, as well as litigation support. This paper was prepared and written exclusively by the authors, without review or comment by Schellenberg Wittmer counsel. One of the authors (GMM) has previously testified on behalf of Schellenberg Wittmer in asbestos litigation. The study, the preparation of the paper, including the synthesis of the findings, the conclusions drawn and recommendations made are the exclusive professional work product of the authors and may not necessarily be those of their employer.
Patient consent Not required.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.
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