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U.S. Dept. of Health Again Confirms Asbestos as Cause of Mesothelioma and Lung Cancer

By Mike Riley on August 3, 2011

The 12th Report on Carcinogens was released by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on June 10, 2011. The Report on Carcinogens is prepared by the National Toxicology Program. The purpose of the congressionally mandated and science-based document is to identify substances and exposure circumstances that are known to cause cancer in humans.

While some asbestos companies and even automobile manufacturers (that used asbestos in brakes) have tried to argue that certain forms of asbestos do not cause cancer, the Report on Carcinogens confirms that all commercial fiber types of asbestos are known to increase the risk of cancers like malignant mesothelioma and lung cancer.

In recent years, papers have been published attempting to show that chrysotile asbestos fiber does not cause mesothelioma. Funding for these papers has been linked to companies that still mine and sell chrysotile asbestos to developing nations, and to companies that used chrysotile asbestos in manufacturing asbestos products in the United States. Chrysotile is the predominant fiber type used by asbestos product manufacturers. These same companies often try to argue in court that chrysotile asbestos is safe for humans, when the companies are defending lawsuits filed by people who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma caused by asbestos. However, the overwhelming majority of legitimate, non-biased, scientific, peer reviewed sources establish that chrysotile, like all the other forms of commercial asbestos, does cause mesothelioma in humans.