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American College of Chest Physicians Agree On What Constitues An Asbestos Related Disease

There is a raging debate now for decades in asbestos cases concerning what kinds of cancers are asbestos related. Today the American College of Chest Physicians weighed in on that debate. In an article published in the June issue of Chest the College indicated: interquartile range

Executive Summary



32 statements and formed the basis for this

document. These statements included agreement

on the associations between asbestos exposure

and the development of radiographic

pleural or parenchymal abnormalities, clinical

associations between exposure based on a good

environmental and occupational history and the

development of disease, diagnostic utility of

high-resolution CT scan of the chest, as well as

increased risk of bronchogenic carcinoma and

documented asbestos exposure even without

documentation of asbestos fibers in respiratory

tissue of the patient. Consensus was not attained

regarding nine statements; these statements

included questions of utility regarding

chest radiographs and high-resolution CT scan

of the chest, the relationship between asbestos

exposure and pleural plaques, and the extent of

risk for the development of lung cancer in the

face of asbestos exposure.

Consensus was reached on 23 of the


by the authors, the ACCP Occupational

and Environmental Medicine NetWork Steering

Committee, the ACCP Health and Science

Policy Committee, and the Executive Committee

of the ACCP Board of Regents.

Consensus opinions were reviewed


Board of Alberta.

The ACCP and the Workers’ Compensation

In the chart referenced in the article there is agreement on the following point:


15 In an asbestos-exposed worker without asbestosis and with lung cancer, the

recognition of asbestosis among coworkers with similar exposures is sufficient

to attribute the worker’s lung cancer to asbestos exposure

8 1 0.0037

17 Workers who have significant asbestos exposure (but who do not have asbestosis)

are at increased risk of bronchogenic carcinoma


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