The Health Effects of Asbestos: An Evidence-based Approach, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Health Effects of Asbestos

An Evidence-based Approach, 1st Edition

By Dorsett D. Smith

CRC Press

381 pages | 34 Color Illus. | 8 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781498728386
pub: 2015-11-18
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pub: 2015-10-28
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The health-related effects of asbestos have long been mired in controversy, with industry and plaintiff attorneys playing a significant role. This comprehensive book provides a balanced and extensive evidence-based critical analysis of the literature concerning asbestos-related diseases, from a scientific and historical perspective. The book presents a carefully referenced review of the medical literature on the health effects of asbestos, and reflects the extensive experience of the author in evaluating patients with asbestos-related disorders.


"What Dr. Smith outlines as an evidence-based approach is likely as relevant to other key toxic materials as it is to asbestos. His first chapter, devoted to reading and finding truth in the medical scientific literature, is instructive

in many fields. An understanding of the health effects of asbestos has remained as refractory as the mineral itself. I'll return to these pages many times, as much to understand how we have proceeded, as to review the specific health-related effects of asbestos." - J. Thomas Pierce, MBBS PhD (Navy Environmental Health Center)

Table of Contents

How to Critically Read and Find Truth in the Medical Scientific Literature

Limitations of Epidemiologic Exposure Studies on the Health

Effects of Asbestos

Sources of Bias

Clinical Toxicology of Asbestos



Skin Contact and Other Routes of Exposure

Asbestos Fiber toxic Mechanisms

Deposition and Clearance of Asbestos Fibers

Occupational Exposures and Regulations

Asbestos Exposures to Building Occupants

Asbestos Exposures in Outdoor Ambient Air

Asbestos in Drinking Water and Food

History of Asbestos Commercial Use and Discovery of Adverse Health Effects: Asbestosis

What Is Asbestosis and What Is Not: Radiology and Pathology Correlates the Association of Lung

Cancer and Asbestosis

Asbestos and Animal Studies


The Helsinki Criteria

The Effect of Smoking and Lung Cancer

Asbestos-Related Pleural Disease

Disability and Impairment in Asbestosis and Asbestos-Related Diffuse Pleural Disease

The Evolution of Workers’ Compensation and Employer Responsibility

Does Asbestos Cause Additional Malignancies Other than Lung Cancer and Mesothelioma?

Asbestos and Renal Cancer

Asbestos and Upper GI Tract Cancer

Carcinoma of the Larynx: The Role of Asbestos

The Role of HPV: The Elephant in the Room

Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and Asbestos Exposure

Ovarian Cancer and Asbestos Exposure

Autoimmune Disease

Asbestos Exposure and Mesothelioma

Early Discovery: 1767–1900

Histologic Controversy: 1900–1942

Definition and Suspicion: 1943–1960

Association and Causation: 1960–1973

The Many Causes of Mesothelioma

Known Naturally Occurring Mesotheliogenic Mineral Fibers

Other Causes of Mesothelioma Not Related to Asbestiform Mineral Fibers

Mesothelioma and Asbestos Fiber Type

Chrysotile and Mesothelioma

The Fiber toxicology of Chrysotile Asbestos

The Tremolite Hypothesis

Mesothelioma Latency and Risk Risk Modeling

Household and Neighborhood Exposure to Asbestos

What Did Asbestos Pipe insulation Manufacturers and the U.S. Navy Understand About the Risk to

Manufacturing Employees and End Users?

Naval and Shipyard Exposure

The intervention of Government to Provide Safety Standards NIOSH/ACGIH Standards

Is there a Safe Or Risk-Free Level of Asbestos Exposure?

How Do We Define Risk?

Some Commonplace Risks for Death

About the Author

Dorsett D. Smith, MD, FCCP, FACP, FACOEM, clinical professor of medicine, Division of Respiratory Diseases and Critical Care, University of Washington Medical School, Seattle, USA

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MEDICAL / Occupational & Industrial Medicine
MEDICAL / Pulmonary & Thoracic Medicine
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Industrial Health & Safety