Asbestos is still with us: repeat call for a universal ban

Int J Occup Environ Health. 2010 Jul-Sep;16(3):351-5. doi: 10.1179/107735210799160228.


All forms of asbestos are proven human carcinogens, causing malignant mesothelioma and a host of other types of cancers. No exposure to asbestos is without risk; there is no safe threshold of exposure to asbestos. When evidence of the carcinogenicity of asbestos became incontrovertible, a worldwide ban was called for on asbestos use, mining, and manufacturing. Asbestos is now banned in 52 countries. Nonetheless, many countries still use, import, and export asbestos and asbestos-containing products; many countries that have banned other forms of asbestos still permit the use of chrysotile asbestos. This exemption has no basis in medical science, but reflects the political and economic influence of the asbestos industry. To protect the health of all people, the Collegium Ramazzini calls again on all countries of the world to join in the international endeavor to ban all forms of asbestos. An international ban on asbestos is urgently needed.

MeSH terms

  • Asbestos / standards*
  • Commerce / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Developing Countries
  • Humans
  • International Cooperation / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Mining / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Mining / standards
  • Occupational Exposure / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Occupational Exposure / prevention & control*
  • World Health Organization


  • Asbestos