Asbestos Resources 

by Laurie Kazan-Allen




The September 2007 issue of the International Journal of Occupational And Environmental Health1 contains the paper Asbestos Exposure Causes Mesothelioma, But Not this Asbestos Exposure: an Amicus Brief to the Michigan Supreme Court by Dr. Laura S. Welch. This paper, which is co-signed by 51 experts with “hundreds of years of experience researching, diagnosing, and treating asbestos-related diseases in workers and their families,” addresses the propaganda campaign by asbestos defendants to label as “junk science” evidence supporting the conclusion that “(chrysotile) asbestos from brakes can and does cause mesothelioma.” Thirty million dollars paid by U.S. asbestos brake manufacturers such as Ford, General Motors, Chrysler has funded research by Hessel, Goodman and Paustenbach to create “doubt science” regarding the causation of asbestos-related deaths amongst mechanics. Dr Welch et al conclude that:

“Asbestos causes mesothelioma. Mechanics are exposed to asbestos dust during the servicing and replacement of brakes… the scientific community is in consensus that brief and low level exposures to asbestos cause mesothelioma. The scientific literature contains hundreds of cases of mesothelioma among brake mechanics; and epidemiologic studies of mechanics known to have performed repair work on asbestos-containing brakes have demonstrated increased levels of nonmalignant diseases…

This combination of evidence, and the vast amount of additional scientific information regarding asbestos and mesothelioma, provides more than sufficient evidence to allow someone to conclude within a reasonable degree of scientific certainty that mesothelioma in a mechanic who worked with asbestos-containing brakes was caused by that asbestos exposure.”

Asbestos: towards a worldwide ban is a 36 page publication by the International Social Security Association (ISSA) which is available on-line2 in English, Chinese, Portuguese, and Arabic, (and also, reportedly, in French, Spanish, German). This document, aimed at national decision makers and their social partners, describes the use of asbestos as a “time bomb waiting to explode” and calls for national bans pointing out the “devastating consequences which a policy of short-termist economic self-interest would bring..”


The website: World Asbestos Report3 was launched on August 28, 2007 to provide an online resource center for the ban asbestos community and for campaigners, activists and professionals working on a wide spectrum of global asbestos-related issues. This facility has already accomplished a major feat by making the collected papers and documents generated by the Global Asbestos Congresses in 2000 (Brazil) and 2004 (Japan) available on-line. Future contributions are invited from interested parties.

The website of the Asbestos Diseases Awareness Organization (ADAO)4 is rapidly expanding the services it offers. Whilst the periodic newsletters5 provide a summary of asbestos developments in the U.S. and the campaigning work of ADAO volunteers at home and abroad, the decision to professionally video the 2006 ADAO Annual Conference and upload these files to the website has made the information presented at that three-day event easily accessible.6

September 2, 2007










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