Asbestos Information


All forms of asbestos (chrysotile, crocidolite, amosite, tremolite, actinolite and anthophyllite) are carcinogenic to humans (Group 1) - IARC (pdf)

THERE IS NO "SAFE" LEVEL OF ASBESTOS EXPOSURE FOR ANY TYPE OF ASBESTOS FIBER. Asbestos exposures as short in duration as a few days have caused mesothelioma in humans. Every occupational exposure to asbestos can cause injury or disease; every occupational exposure to asbestos contributes to the risk of getting an asbestos related disease."

(U.S. Occupational Health Safety and Health Administration - OSHA)

"Despite Limits, No Safe Level of Asbestos Exposure" - "Asbestos is extremely hazardous. According to the National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety (NIOSH) "all levels of asbestos exposure studied to date have demonstrated asbestos-related disease" and "there is no level of [asbestos] exposure below which clinical effects do not occur." Therefore, all avoidable exposures to asbestos should be prevented whenever possible. The Occupational Safety and Health Commission (OSHA) has set a permissible asbestos exposure limit (PEL) of 0.1 fiber per cubic centimeter (f/cc) for work in all industries, including construction, shipyards, and asbestos abatement work. This standard has also been adopted by the Environmental Protection Agency. OSHA is quick to add, however, that the asbestos PEL is a target guideline for regulatory purposes only, and does not establish any level of "safe" asbestos exposure. As OSHA writes in its Asbestos Final Rule: "The 0.1 f/cc level leaves a remaining significant risk."


The Median Isn't the Message- ("In July 1982, I learned that I was suffering from abdominal mesothelioma, a rare and serious cancer usually associated with exposure to asbestos")

by Stephen Jay Gould, PhD

Surviving Peritoneal Mesothelioma; Stephen Jay Gould's Cancer Journey

(Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance at - Aug. 2018)

Asbestos-Related Lung Disease

Katherine M.A. O'Reilly, M.D - American Academy of Family Physicians

Asbestos Canada - The Government of Canada recognizes that breathing in asbestos fibres can cause cancer and other diseases. The Government is taking action by implementing regulations to help protect Canadians from asbestos exposure

Government of Canada; 2018-10-18

Technical guideline to asbestos exposure management programs

Government of Canada; 2018

Asbestos-associated genome-wide DNA methylation changes in lung cancer - "In conclusion, we identified novel DNA methylation changes associated with lung tumors and asbestos exposure, suggesting that changes may be present in causal pathway from asbestos exposure to lung cancer."

Kettunen E et al; Int J Cancer. 2017 Nov 15;141(10):2014-2029

Mesothelioma from asbestos exposures: Epidemiologic patterns and impact in the United States

Lemen RA; J Toxicol Environ Health B Crit Rev. 2016;19(5-6):250-265

Scope of the Risk Evaluation for Asbestos - ("All types of asbestos fibers have been reported to cause mesothelioma (IARC, 2012).")

EPA Document# EPA-740-R1-7008 June 2017

Genomics and Epigenetics of Malignant Mesothelioma - "Malignant mesothelioma is an aggressive and highly fatal cancer associated with exposure to asbestos. It is characterized by a long and remarkably variable latency period between exposure and disease presentation (1370 years) and a poor survival rate, wherein most patients will succumb to the disease within the first year after diagnosis. Despite global efforts to limit asbestos exposure through bans and mine closures in numerous countries, a corresponding decrease in mesothelioma incidence has not been observed." "The primary mechanism of asbestos-related carcinogenesis is chronic inflammation and ongoing generation of highly reactive oxygen species (ROS) that collide with cellular components, promote DNA mutation, and trigger transformation "

Sage AP et al ; High Throughput. 2018 Jul 27;7(3). pii: E20.

TOXNET - HSDB: ASBESTOS CASRN: 1332-21-4 ("There is sufficient evidence in humans for the carcinogenicity of all forms of asbestos (chrysotile, crocidolite, amosite, tremolite, actinolite, and anthophyllite). Asbestos causes mesothelioma and cancer of the lung, larynx, and ovary. There is sufficient evidence in experimental animals for the carcinogenicity of all forms of asbestos (chrysotile, crocidolite, amosite, tremolite, actinolite and anthophyllite). All forms of asbestos (chrysotile, crocidolite, amosite, tremolite, actinolite and anthophyllite) are carcinogenic to humans (Group 1). "

(TOXNET, NIH; 9/27/2018)

Protecting Workers from Asbestos


Technical guideline to asbestos exposure management programs

Government of Canada - 2018-11-09

Alberta Asbestos Abatement Manual

Alberta Asbestos Abatement Manual

Asbestos Exposure

Occupational Safety and Health U.S.A

Asbestos Management Program

University of Alberta (PDF file)

Asbestos Information Resources


Asbestos Fibers



Occupational Safety and Health Administration U.S.A.

Asbestos Fibres in Indoor and Outdoor Air - The situation in Québec

Institut national de santé publique du Québec (PDF file)

The Mesothelioma Center

Vinyl Asbestos Tile

Harvard University Environmental Health and Safety

A Guide to the Regulation Respecting Asbestos on Construction Projects and in Buildings and Repair Operations

Ontario (PDF file)

Asbestosis-Related Years of Potential Life Lost Before Age 65 Years --- United States, 1968--2005

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report - December 12, 2008 / 57(49);1321-1325
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Safety and Health Topic: Asbestos



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