Intended for healthcare professionals


Age and asbestos exposure. . . and other stories

BMJ 2019; 364 doi: (Published 30 January 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;364:l353


Levels of occupational and environmental airborne asbestos are now so low that it’s not possible to make reliable estimates of long term exposure by air sampling. Instead, a multicentre study from the UK used lung tissue taken from people being treated for lung cancer and pneumothorax to examine lung burdens of asbestos at different ages (Int J Epidemiol doi:10.1093/ije/dyx276). It found a striking reduction in those born after 1960. The investigators calculate that the lifetime mesothelioma risk among people born since then will be around one in 10 000. This is a thousand times lower than …

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