It’s the same old, same old: asbestos.
This time, it’s the mainstream media, and not the health professionals, who are pushing the argument that asbestos is not a health hazard.
The consensus is that there is no credible evidence to show that asbestos increases the risk of cancer.
But the debate is being conducted on the basis of shaky science and a lack of evidence.
That’s because the science is still far from clear.
The debate has been around for a long time, but until recently, it was largely dismissed by the scientific community.
In an effort to shed light on the science, and shed light upon the industry that pushes the claim, I decided to interview several of the industry experts who have been pushing the idea for a decade, and to get their take on the issue. They are: Cynthia M. Coady, the chair of the Institute for Environmental Health Sciences at the University of California, San Diego, has been pushing asbestos research for decades.
“The asbestos debate is a classic example of science being used to support a business model,” she said.
A former epidemiologist at the National Cancer Institute, she has spent the past several years conducting research on the health effects of asbestos.
“The mainstream press is so dominated by a small group of scientists, they don’t know the real science,” she added.
“There’s a lot of hype,” Coadsays.
“I don’t want to sound like I’m the only one who thinks it’s an absolute myth, but I’m convinced it’s not.”
In fact, she is among the many experts who say that the evidence supporting the link between asbestos and cancer is weak and that the risk is likely to be minimal.
The best available evidence is that exposure to asbestos causes a range of health problems, but it’s still not proven that asbestos causes cancer.
In a report published last year in the journal Epidemiology, the Environmental Protection Agency said that “there is insufficient evidence to support any causal link between the occupational exposure to the asbestos fibers, including the use of asbestos-containing products, and the development of cancer.”
It also said that there was a “high degree of confidence” that “no statistically significant associations exist between the frequency of asbestos exposure and the risk for any specific type of cancer” in a broad range of people.
And a recent meta-analysis of more than 700 studies, conducted by the Environmental Working Group and the British Medical Journal, found that “a small number of studies have found a statistically significant association between the presence of asbestos fibers and cancer in humans, and in other mammals.”
In a new paper, published this month in the American Journal of Public Health, a team of researchers led by Dr. David C. Wysocki, an epidemiologist and former director of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and a postdoctoral fellow at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, looked at the evidence on the cancer link between use of the fibrous material and the number of asbestos exposures to humans.
Their analysis was based on information from the US Occupational Health Administration and the American Cancer Society.
The authors found “little evidence that a link exists between the use and number of exposures to asbestos fibers to the degree of exposure that results in cancer.”
They added that their results showed that the amount of exposure to a given amount of asbestos was “largely irrelevant to the risk.”
However, in the UK, the Royal College of Occupational Medicine and the Institute of Medicine have also concluded that “the evidence is inconclusive that asbestos exposure is associated with an increased risk of lung cancer.”
“The evidence is mixed,” Wysocks says.
“There is no clear link.
It is not clear that it is a causal link.
There is no evidence that it has a protective effect.”
In fact, it is the lack of scientific evidence that is the biggest problem.
“Scientific evidence that suggests there is a link between exposure to an asbestos-derived substance and an increased lung cancer risk is lacking,” the report said.
In their own studies, the authors of the two studies found that there were “no differences in lung cancer rates between the highest and lowest asbestos exposure categories” for men and women, and that those exposed to a low-level of exposure were more likely to develop lung cancer than those exposed at a higher level.
“However, no difference in lung cancers was observed between the lowest and highest asbestos exposure groups,” the authors concluded.
“This is not surprising given the large body of evidence suggesting that asbestos has no significant carcinogenic effects in humans,” says David Siegel, a toxicologist at the Duke University Center for Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention and co-author of the Duke report.
“But there are some important limitations.”
The evidence on whether asbestos causes lung cancer is mixed.
But “there’s a high degree of certainty” that there’s