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Am J Ind Med. 2015 Dec;58(12):1231-4. doi: 10.1002/ajim.22539. Epub 2015 Nov 2.

Latency attention deficit: Asbestos abatement workers need us to investigate.

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Department of Community Health, Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts.


Little is known of the impact of asbestos on the health of the workers in the United States who have removed or abated asbestos from buildings following recognition of its adverse effects on health. The United States does not have a national occupational health surveillance network to monitor asbestos-related disease and, while the United States Occupational Health and Safety Administration has a strong and detailed asbestos standard, its enforcement resources are limited. A significant proportion of asbestos abatement workers are foreign-born, and may face numerous challenges in achieving safe workplaces, including lack of union representation, economic vulnerability, and inadequate training. Public health surveillance and increased and coordinated enforcement is needed to monitor the health and exposure experiences of asbestos-exposed workers. Alarming disease trends in asbestos removal workers in Great Britain suggest that, in the United States, increased public attention will be necessary to end the epidemic of asbestos-related disease.


Cambodians; asbestos; construction; exposures; immigrant workers; regulation

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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