New Surgeon General Statement on Asbestos Risks

By Mike Riley on September 16, 2009

The Surgeon General, Steven Galson, has issued a statement for National Asbestos Awareness Week, urging citizens to be aware of the health risks from asbestos and to protect themselves from asbestos exposure.

While certain asbestos product manufacturers, mining companies and distributors have tried to argue that there are safe levels of asbestos exposure, the Surgeon General does not agree with those asbestos companies on this issue. His statement says, ‘There is no level of asbestos exposure that is known to be safe’ and that ‘asbestos fibers can remain in the lungs for years and even decades.’

It is true that the risk for asbestos diseases like asbestosis and mesothelioma is a cumulative risk, meaning that the more exposure one has, the greater the risk of developing a disease. However, the Surgeon General’s statement confirms that any exposure to asbestos presents a risk, and therefore it is important for people to be aware of that risk and take steps to minimize any exposures.