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A total of 64 percent of global asbestos use attributable to Asia from years 2001 to 2007

Thursday, June 23, 2011 (Last Updated: 06/24/2011)

THURSDAY, June 23 (HealthDay News) -- The use of asbestos has increased drastically in Asia since 1970, with 64 percent of global use from 2001 to 2007 attributable to Asia, according to a review published online March 30 in Respirology.

Giang Vinh Le, from the University of Occupational and Environmental Health in Kitakyushu City, Japan, and colleagues analyzed data on the current status of asbestos use and asbestos-related disease (ARD) in Asia. This was done using descriptive indicators of per capita asbestos use (kilograms per capita per year) and age-adjusted mortality rates (AAMRs, persons per million population per year) by country and for the region, with reference to the world.

The investigators found that, over the years, there has been a steady rise in the proportion of global asbestos use attributed to Asia, increasing from 14 percent from 1920 to 1970, to 33 percent from 1971 to 2000, and to 64 percent from 2001 to 2007. This reflects an increase in the absolute level used per capita across a large number of countries. There have been 12,882 ARD deaths in Asia, which accounts for 13 percent of ARD deaths in the world. Cyprus, Israel, and Japan recorded the highest AAMRs at 4.8, 3.7 and 3.3, respectively, and all have now banned asbestos use.

"There is a paucity of information concerning the current situation of ARDs in Asia. The marked increase in asbestos use in Asia since 1970, however, is likely to trigger a surge of ARDs in the immediate decades ahead," the authors write.

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Specialties Pulmonology
Hematology & Oncology
Internal Medicine
Critical Care

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