The role of asbestos fiber dimensions in the prevention of mesothelioma

International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health. 2007 Jan-Mar;13(1):64-9. [Link]

Tomatis L, Cantoni S, Carnevale F, Merler E, Mollo F, Ricci P, Silvestri S, Vineis P, Terracini B.


A recent interpretation of the pathogenetic role of asbestos fiber size in the development of mesothelioma and in the possibility of mesothelioma prevention needs clarification. This point of view is based on a biased interpretation of the literature. Epidemiologic, experimental, and molecular evidence suggests that the arguments for the role of fiber size relative to dose, dose-response effect, and genetic susceptibility are scientifically unsound. Their proponent also states that means available in the past for the implementation of dust-control measures and/or personal protective equipment would not have contributed to reducing the frequency of mesothelioma among exposed subjects, an argument again based on invalid assumptions.