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Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2018 Mar 16;15(3). pii: E531. doi: 10.3390/ijerph15030531.

Trends and the Economic Effect of Asbestos Bans and Decline in Asbestos Consumption and Production Worldwide.

Author information

1
NERA Economic Consulting, 1166 Avenue of Americas, New York, NY 10036, USA. lucy.allen@nera.com.
2
NERA Economic Consulting, 200 S. Biscayne Boulevard, Suite 950, Miami, FL 33131, USA. jorge.baez@nera.com.
3
NERA Economic Consulting, 360 Hamilton Avenue, White Plains, NY 10601, USA. mary.elizabeth.stern@nera.com.
4
Asbestos Diseases Research Institute, University of Sydney, Gate 3 Hospital Road, Concord NSW 2139, Australia. ken.takahashi@sydney.edu.au.
5
World Health Organization (WHO), Regional Office for Europe, European Centre for Environment and Health, Platz der Vereinten Nationen 1, 53113 Bonn, Germany. georgef@who.int.

Abstract

Although some countries have reduced asbestos consumption and instituted bans, other countries continue to produce and consume asbestos even as asbestos-related deaths mount and the associated societal costs are high. Asbestos production and consumption has declined globally; the number of bans has increased; and the speed at which countries have tapered off consumption has increased. Using country-level data, we study the economic impact of historical changes in the production and use of asbestos. We compare changes in gross domestic product (GDP) following the enactment of asbestos bans. We do not find any significant effect on GDP following an asbestos ban. In a regional case study, we compare changes in GDP and employment with changes in asbestos production. Regional-level data revealed a temporary employment decline at the local level that was then reversed.

KEYWORDS:

asbestos; bans; employment; gross domestic product; mesothelioma

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