Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Environ Health Perspect. 2010 Jan;118(1):116-9. doi: 10.1289/ehp.0901196.

National use of asbestos in relation to economic development.

Author information

1
Department of Environmental Epidemiology, University of Occupational and Environmental Health, Yahatanishiku, Kitakyushu, Japan.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

National disparities in asbestos use will likely lead to an unequal burden of asbestos diseases.

OBJECTIVES:

As economic status may be linked to asbestos use, we assessed, globally, the relationship between indicators of national economic development and asbestos use.

METHODS:

For the 135 countries that have ever used asbestos, per capita asbestos use (kilograms per capita per year) was compared with per capita gross domestic product (GDP) in 1990 Geary-Khamis dollars (GKD) for the period 1920-2003. Countries were grouped into three income levels (high, middle, and low) that were adapted from the 2003 World Bank categories.

RESULTS:

The historical pattern of asbestos use followed the environmental Kuznets curve in which use by high-income countries peaked when incomes attained 10,000-15,000 GKD and essentially ceased at income levels over 20,000 GKD. Currently, middle- and low-income countries are increasing their use of asbestos, closely following the paths once traced by higher income countries.

CONCLUSIONS:

Developing countries have the opportunity to eliminate asbestos use sooner than high-income countries and thus reduce the future burden of asbestos diseases.

PMID:
20056590
PMCID:
PMC2831954
DOI:
10.1289/ehp.0901196
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center