An updated review on asbestos and related diseases in China
Authors: Courtice, Midori N; Lin, Sihao; Wang, Xiaorong
Source: International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, Volume 18, Number 3, September 2012 , pp. 247-253(7)
Publisher: Maney Publishing
Abstract:Background: Asbestos is an industrial mineral that can cause diseases such as asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma. Asbestos consumption in China has increased steadily since the 1960s and is currently at half a million tonnes per year. Work conditions in the asbestos-related industries are poor and exposure levels frequently exceed the occupational exposure limit.
Objective: To provide an updated overview on asbestos production and consumption in China and discuss what is known about the resulting burden of asbestos-related diseases.
Findings: China is the world's top chrysotile consumer and second largest producer. Over a million people may be occupationally exposed, yet reliable disease statistics are unavailable and the national burden of asbestos-related disease (ARD) is not well known. Nevertheless, ARD prevalence, incidence, and mortality are expected to be high and will increase for many decades due to the volume of asbestos consumed historically, and a long latency period.
Conclusions: Government policies to prevent ARD have been implemented but more actions are necessary to ensure compliance and ultimately, the complete elimination of asbestos to prevent a heavy future disease burden.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: School of Public Health and Primary Care at Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China
Publication date: 2012-09-01