An Outline of Asbestos-Related Health Effects

David Y. Zhang, M.D., Ph.D.
Departments of Pathology and Public Health, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA

Series: Public Health in the 21st Century
BISAC: MED078000



Volume 10

Issue 1

Volume 2

Volume 3

Special issue: Resilience in breaking the cycle of children’s environmental health disparities
Edited by I Leslie Rubin, Robert J Geller, Abby Mutic, Benjamin A Gitterman, Nathan Mutic, Wayne Garfinkel, Claire D Coles, Kurt Martinuzzi, and Joav Merrick


Digitally watermarked, DRM-free.
Immediate eBook download after purchase.

Product price
Additional options total:
Order total:



Asbestos have been used in many different environments, including industrial and home construction projects, vehicles, railroads and shipyards, to name a few. Asbestos have significantly affected many lives, particularly individuals and their families who have experienced substantial direct or indirect occupational exposure to asbestos as well as asbestos-containing products and equipment. Many diseases and conditions are reported to have a direct or indirect causal link to asbestos exposure. This book summarizes the historical background, current knowledge and advancements concerning asbestos and its related diseases in a simple, easy to understand and concise format. The first chapter covers asbestos mineralogy, industrial applications, occupational and environmental exposure as well as methods of fiber analysis. The second chapter focuses on asbestos pathogenesis, including asbestos levels in the environment and various worksites, the biological effects of asbestos fibers and factors determining its toxicity. The third chapter provides an overview of asbestos-related diseases such as asbestosis, pleural diseases, lung cancer and mesothelioma. Each section also includes a discussion of cause and causation, clinical presentation, pathology, diagnosis, treatment, prognosis and surveillance. The fourth chapter outlines the basic concepts of biostatistics and epidemiology, criteria in establishing the causal relationships, the occupational approach of environmental diseases and current standards and regulations. This book serves as an easy to read, quick reference presented in a bulleted format that allows readers to quickly and easily review the information. It is a useful resource for occupational medicine specialists, healthcare providers and environmental scientists who are interested in understanding asbestos and managing asbestos-related diseases. (Imprint: Novinka)


Chapter 1. Asbestos Mineralogy and Industrial Applications

Chapter 2. Asbestos Pathogenesis

Chapter 3. Asbestos Related Diseases

Chapter 4. Asbestos Regulation and Epidemiology


About the Author


“This is a very nice, concise and easy-to-read book about asbestos exposure and asbestos disease. Although it is written in a very practical manner, with brief bullets that speedily convey information, the book provides in-depth information of the many aspects of asbestos diseases, from exposure to diagnosis, from air levels to methods of monitoring, from pathological findings to radiological imaging. Additionally, the book offers basic information on topics that are not so readily-available to the busy physician or medical student or resident: there is a concise review of topics such as lung cancer, pulmonary function tests, general principles of epidemiology, and others, which contribute to frame the general topic of diagnosis and treatment of asbestos related disease. For the occupational physician or resident, the book clearly describes, again concisely but with a lot of attention, the different professions where workers can be exposed to asbestos and the characteristics of such exposures. Finally, there is an in-depth review of issues of causation and attribution that would help physicians who may be involved in litigation. All in all, Dr. Zhang has done an exceptional job in putting together a very vast and controverted topic into very succinct, direct, informative and comprehensive bulleted format.” - Jaime Szeinuk, MD, MPH, Occupational and Environmental Medicine of Long Island, Northwell Health, Assistant Professor, Department of Occupational Medicine, Epidemiology and Prevention, Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine, NY USA

"Asbestos remains a serious and persistent public health threat despite banning its use generations ago. Dr Zhang's thorough review of the topic provides the reader with a well needed update of the literature for a hazard we should never forget. This book is an easy read and is great reference for anyone who needs to truly understand the health effects of Asbestos. I only wish I had this book as a reference 20 years ago." - Scott Levy MD MPH FACOEM, Asia Pacific Regional Medical Manager, Chevron, Chairman of the Board, Western Occupational and Environmental Medicine Association

"This book is a great resource for asbestos and its related diseases. It gives a great in depth review ranging from exposures to radiographic findings and medical surveillance. This is one of the most concise book covering all aspects of asbestos that will be extremely useful for any medical professional. As a former residency program director of occupational medicine, I find this book to be an invaluable resource for residents in occupational medicine. I highly recommend this book." - Winston C Kwa, MD, MPH, FACOEM, Assistant Professor, Medical Director, the Selikoff Centers for Occupational Health, Lower Hudson Valley Region, Department of Environmental Medicine and Public Health, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, NY, USA

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)/US Department of Health and Human Services, Toxicological Profile for Asbestos, 2001.
Ameille J, Rosenberg N, Matrat M, Descatha A, Mompoint D, Hamzi L, Atassi C, Vasile M, Garnier R, Pairon JC. Asbestos-related diseases in automobile mechanics. Ann Occup Hyg. 2012 Jan;56(1):55-60.
Beckett WS. Occupational respiratory diseases. N Engl J Med. 2000 Feb 10;342(6):406-13.
Boffetta P. Epidemiology of peritoneal mesothelioma: a review. Ann Oncol. 2007 Jun;18(6):985-90.
Bonita R, Beaglehole R, Kjellstrom T. Basic epidemiology, 2nd Ed. World Health Organization, 2006.
Bourdès V, Boffetta P, Pisani P. Environmental exposure to asbestos and risk of pleural mesothelioma: review and meta-analysis. Eur J Epidemiol. 2000 May;16(5):411-7.
Brownson RD. Current and historical American asbestos regulations. Monaldi Arch Chest Dis. 1998 Apr;53(2):181-5.
Bueno R, Stawiski EW, Goldstein LD, Durinck S, De Rienzo A, Modrusan Z, Gnad F, Nguyen TT, Jaiswal BS, Chirieac LR, Sciaranghella D, Dao N, Gustafson CE, Munir KJ, Hackney JA, Chaudhuri A, Gupta R, Guillory J, Toy K, Ha C, Chen YJ, Stinson J, Chaudhuri S, Zhang N, Wu TD, Sugarbaker DJ, de Sauvage FJ, Richards WG, Seshagiri S. Comprehensive genomic analysis of malignant pleural mesothelioma identifies recurrent mutations, gene fusions and splicing alterations. Nat Genet. 2016 Apr;48(4):407-16.
Cely-García MF, Sánchez M, Breysse PN, Ramos-Bonilla JP. Personal exposures to asbestos fibers during brake maintenance of passenger vehicles. Ann Occup Hyg. 2012 Nov;56(9):985-99.
Collegium Ramazzini. Collegium Ramazzini response to 'Asbestos, asbestosis, and cancer, the Helsinki criteria for diagnosis and attribution 2014: recommendations'. Scand J Work Environ Health. 2016 Jan;42(1):91-4.
Consensus report. Asbestos, asbestosis, and cancer: the Helsinki criteria for diagnosis and attribution. Scand J Work Environ Health. 1997;23(4): 311-6.
Cramer DW, Welch WR, Berkowitz RS, Godleski JJ. Presence of talc in pelvic lymph nodes of a woman with ovarian cancer and long-term genital exposure to cosmetic talc. Obstet Gynecol. 2007 Aug;110(2 Pt 2):498-501.
Danielsen TE, Langård S, Andersen A. Incidence of cancer among Norwegian boiler welders. Occup Environ Med. 1996 Apr;53(4):231-4.
Diorio JA Jr, Fallon LF Jr. Fundamentals of compensation and benefits. Occup Med. 2001 Jul-Sep;16(3):491-500.
Gordon RE, Fitzgerald S, Millette J, Asbestos in commercial cosmetic talcum powder as a cause of mesothelioma in women. Int J Occup Environ Health. 2014 Oct;20(4):318-32.
Guidotti TL. Apportionment in asbestos-related disease for purposes of compensation. Ind Health. 2002 Oct;40(4):295-311.
Halpern MT, Gillespie BW, Warner KE. Patterns of absolute risk of lung cancer mortality in former smokers. J Natl Cancer Inst. 1993 Mar 17;85(6):457-64.
Hammond EC, Selikoff IJ, Seidman H, Asbestos exposure, cigarette smoking and death rates. Ann NY Acad Sci. 1979, 330:473-490.
Hasteh F, Lin GY, Weidner N, Michael CW. The use of immunohistochemistry to distinguish reactive mesothelial cells from malignant mesothelioma in cytologic effusions. Cancer Cytopathol. 2010 Apr 25;118(2):90-6.
Henderson DW, Jones ML, De Klerk N, Leigh J, Musk AW, Shilkin KB, Williams VM. The diagnosis and attribution of asbestos-related diseases in an Australian context: report of the Adelaide Workshop on Asbestos-Related Diseases. October 6-7, 2000. Int J Occup Environ Health. 2004 Jan-Mar;10(1):40-6.
Hill AB., The environment and disease: Association or causation? Proc R Soc Med. 1965;58:295-300.
Hjerpe A, Ascoli V, Bedrossian CW, Boon ME, Creaney J, Davidson B, Dejmek A, Dobra K, Fassina A, Field A, Firat P, Kamei T, Kobayashi T, Michael CW, Önder S, Segal A, Vielh P. Guidelines for the Cytopathologic Diagnosis of Epithelioid and Mixed-Type Malignant Mesothelioma: a secondary publication. Cytopathology 2015;26:142–156.
Husain AN, Colby TV, Ordóñez NG, Krausz T, Borczuk A, Cagle PT, Chirieac LR, Churg A, Galateau-Salle F, Gibbs AR, Gown AM, Hammar SP, Litzky LA, Roggli VL, Travis WD, Wick MR. Guidelines for pathologic diagnosis of malignant mesothelioma: a consensus statement from the International Mesothelioma Interest Group. Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2009 Aug;133(8):1317-31.
International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)/World Health Organization (WHO), Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans, Volume 100C, 2012.
International Labour Office (ILO), Guidelines for the use of the ILO international classification of radiographs of pneumoconiosis, 2000.
Kato S, Tomson BN, Buys TP, Elkin SK, Carter JL, Kurzrock R. Genomic Landscape of Malignant Mesotheliomas Mol Cancer Ther. 2016 Oct;15(10):2498-2507.Klemperer P, Rabin CB. Primary neoplasms of the pleura. Arch Pathol 1931; 11:385–412.
Levin SM, Kann PE, Lax MB. Medical examination for asbestos-related disease. Am J Ind Med. 2000 Jan;37(1):6-22.
Lindeman NI, Cagle PT, Beasley MB, Chitale DA, Dacic S, Giaccone G, Jenkins RB, Kwiatkowski DJ, Saldivar JS, Squire J, Thunnissen E, Ladanyi M, Molecular testing guideline for selection of lung cancer patients for EGFR and ALK tyrosine kinase inhibitors: guideline from the College of American Pathologists, International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer, and Association for Molecular Pathology. J Mol Diagn. 2013 Jul;15(4):415-53.
Longo WE, Rigler MW, Slade J. Crocidolite asbestos fibers in smoke from original Kent cigarettes. Cancer Res. 1995 Jun 1;55(11):2232-5.
Longo WE, Egeland WB, Hatfield RL, Newton LR. Fiber release during the removal of asbestos-containing gaskets: a work practice simulation. Appl Occup Environ Hyg. 2002 Jan;17(1):55-62.
Lynch KM, Smith WA Pulmonary Asbestosis III: Carcinoma of Lung in Asbesto-Silicosis. Am J Cancer 1935; 24:56-64.
Mallon TM, Grizzell TL, Nelson CJ, Hodgson M Federal workers' compensation program basics. J Occup Environ Med. 2015 Mar;57 Suppl 3:S4-11.
Markowitz SB, Levin SM, Miller A, Morabia A. Asbestos, asbestosis, smoking, and lung cancer. New findings from the North American insulator cohort. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2013 Jul 1;188(1):90-6.
Markowitz S. Asbestos-related lung cancer and malignant mesothelioma of the pleura: selected current issues. Semin Respir Crit Care Med. 2015 Jun;36(3):334-46.
National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Office (NCCDPHPO) on Smoking and Health. The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta (GA): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US); 2014.
National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety (NIOSH), Asbestos Fibers and Other Elongate Mineral Particles: State of the Science and Roadmap of Research, 2011.
NCCN Guidelines version 3.2016: Malignant pleural mesothelioma, 2016
NCCN Guidelines version 3.2017 updates: Non-small cell lung cancer, 2017.
Oliver T. Clinical Aspects of Pulmonary Asbestosis. Br Med J. 1927 Dec 3;2(3491):1026-7.
Pavilonis BT, Mirer FE. Respirable dust and silica exposure among World Trade Center cleanup workers. J Occup Environ Hyg. 2017 Mar;14(3):187-194.
Reitze WB, Nicholson WJ, Holaday DA, Selikoff IJ. Application of sprayed inorganic fiber containing asbestos: occupational health hazards. Am Ind Hyg Assoc J. 1972 Mar;33(3):178-91.
Ribak J, Lilis R, Suzuki Y, Penner L, Selikoff IJ Malignant mesothelioma in a cohort of asbestos insulation workers: clinical presentation, diagnosis, and causes of death. Br J Ind Med. 1988 Mar;45(3):182-7.
Roberts HC, Patsios DA, Paul NS, DePerrot M, Teel W, Bayanati H, Shepherd F, Johnston MR. Screening for malignant pleural mesothelioma and lung cancer in individuals with a history of asbestos exposure. J Thorac Oncol. 2009 May;4(5):620-8.
Robinson BW, Lake RA. Advances in malignant mesothelioma. N Engl J Med. 2005 Oct 13;353(15):1591-603.
Roggli VL, Sharma A, Butnor KJ, Sporn T, Vollmer RT. Malignant mesothelioma and occupational exposure to asbestos: a clinicopathological correlation of 1445 cases. Ultrastruct Pathol. 2002 Mar-Apr;26(2):55-65.
Roggli VL, Gibbs AR, Attanoos R, Churg A, Popper H, Cagle P, Corrin B, Franks TJ, Galateau-Salle F, Galvin J, Hasleton PS, Henderson DW, Honma K. Pathology of asbestosis- An update of the diagnostic criteria: Report of the asbestosis committee of the college of American pathologists and pulmonary pathology society. Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2010 Mar;134(3):462-80.
Rohl AN, Langer AM, Wolff MS, Weisman I. Asbestos Exposure during Brake Lining Maintenance and Repair. Environ Res 1976; 12:110-128.
Rushton L, Bagga S, Bevan R, Brown TP, Cherrie JW, Holmes P, Fortunato L, Slack R, Van Tongeren M, Young C, Hutchings SJ. Occupation and cancer in Britain. Br J Cancer. 2010 Apr 27;102(9):1428-37.
Segal A, Sterrett GF, Frost FA, Shilkin KB, Olsen NJ, Musk AW, Nowak AK, Robinson BW, Creaney J. A diagnosis of malignant pleural mesothelioma can be made by effusion cytology: results of a 20 year audit. Pathology, 2013; 45:44–48.
Seidman H, Selikoff IJ, and Hammond EC. 1979. Short-term asbestos work exposure and long-term observation. Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 330:61-89.
Selikoff IJ, Churg J, Hammond EC. Asbestos exposure and neoplasia. JAMA. 1964 Apr 6;188:22-6.
Selikoff IJ, 1980 In: Last JM, editor. Maxcy-Rosenau public health and preventive medicine, 11th ed. New York: Appleton Century Crofts, p 568-647.
Selikoff IJ and Seidman H, 1991, In: Landrigan PL, Kazemi H, editors. The third wave of asbestos disease: exposure to asbestos in place – public health control. New York: The New York Academy of Sciences.
Shersher DD, Liptay MJ. Multimodality treatment of pleural mesothelioma. Surg Oncol Clin N Am. 2013 Apr;22(2):345-55.
Skammeritz E, Omland LH, Johansen JP, Omland O. Asbestos exposure and survival in malignant mesothelioma: a description of 122 consecutive cases at an occupational clinic. Int J Occup Environ Med. 2011 Oct;2(4):224-36.
Sporn TA. Mineralogy of asbestos. Recent Results Cancer Res. 2011;189:1-11.
Stern FB, Sweeney MH, Ward E. Proportionate mortality among unionized construction ironworkers. Am J Ind Med. 1997 Feb;31(2):176-87.
Travis WD, Brambilla E, Nicholson AG, Yatabe Y, Austin JH, Beasley MB, Chirieac LR, Dacic S, Duhig E, Flieder DB, Geisinger K, Hirsch FR, Ishikawa Y, Kerr KM, Noguchi M, Pelosi G, Powell CA, Tsao MS, Wistuba I; WHO Panel. The 2015 World Health Organization Classification of Lung Tumors: Impact of Genetic, Clinical and Radiologic Advances Since the 2004 Classification. J Thorac Oncol. 2015;10: 1243–1260.
Wagner JC, Sleggs CA, Marchand P. Diffuse pleural mesothelioma and asbestos exposure in the North Western Cape Province. Br J Ind Med. 1960 Oct;17:260-71.
Wang H, Gillis A, Zhao C, Lee E, Wu J, Zhang F, Ye F, Zhang DY. Crocidolite asbestos-induced signal pathway dysregulation in mesothelial cells. Mutat Res. 2011 Aug 16;723(2):171-6.
Welch LS1. Asbestos exposure causes mesothelioma, but not this asbestos exposure: an amicus brief to the Michigan Supreme Court. Int J Occup Environ Health. 2007 Jul-Sep;13(3):318-27.
Williams PR, Phelka AD, Paustenbach DJ., A review of historical exposures to asbestos among skilled craftsmen (1940-2006), J Toxicol Environ Health B Crit Rev. 2007 Sep-Oct;10(5):319-77.
Wolff H, Vehmas T, Oksa P, Rantanen J, Vainio H. Asbestos, asbestosis, and cancer, the Helsinki criteria for diagnosis and attribution 2014: recommendations. Scand J Work Environ Health. 2015 Jan;41(1):5-15.
Yeung P, Rogers A. An occupation-industry matrix analysis of mesothelioma cases in Australia 1980-1985. Appl Occup Environ Hyg. 2001 Jan;16(1):40-4.

This book was written for occupational medicine specialists, healthcare providers and environmental scientists who are interested in understanding asbestos and managing asbestos-related diseases. This book may also be interested to lawyers in asbestos related litigation.

You have not viewed any product yet.