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Response to: ‘Are children more vulnerable to mesothelioma than adults? A comparison of mesothelioma risk among children and adults exposed non-occupationally to blue asbestos at Wittenoom’ by Reid et al
  1. Andrea Farioli1,
  2. Paolo Boffetta1,2,
  3. Stefania Curti1,
  4. Giacomo Garzaro3,
  5. Carlo La Vecchia4,
  6. Stefano Mattioli5,
  7. Giovanna Spatari6,
  8. Francesco Saverio Violante1
  1. 1 Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy
  2. 2 Tisch Cancer Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York City, New York, USA
  3. 3 Department of Public Health Sciences and Pediatrics, Universita degli Studi di Torino, Torino, Italy
  4. 4 Department of Clinical Sciences and Community Health, Milan University, Milan, Italy
  5. 5 Department of Internal Medicine, Geriatrics, University of Bologna, Section of Occupational Medicine, Bologna, Italy
  6. 6 Department of Biomedical and Dental Sciences and Morphofunctional Imaging, University of Messina, Messina, Italy
  1. Correspondence to Dr Andrea Farioli, Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, University of Bologna, Bologna 40126, Italy; andrea.farioli4{at}

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Dear Sir,

We read with interest the paper published by Reid and colleagues.1 The authors aimed at comparing the risk of mesothelioma among those first exposed to asbestos as children with those first exposed as adults. In a cohort of 4704 people living near an asbestos mine and mill, they observed higher rates of mesothelioma among residents first exposed after the age of 15 years compared with those exposed during the childhood. We have a couple of concerns regarding the interpretation and the validity of the findings from Reid et al.1

The authors noted that ‘The mesothelioma rate was lower among children than adults by categories of time since first …

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  • Contributors All authors prepared and wrote this reply letter.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None of the authors has a direct financial interest related to this letter. PB, CLV and FSV have acted as expert witnesses in litigations involving asbestos-related diseases.

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

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

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