Asbestos exposure during home renovation in New South Wales

Richard A Lemen, Arthur L Frank, Colin L Soskolne, Stanley H Weiss and Barry I Castleman
Med J Aust 2014; 200 (6): . || doi: 10.5694/mja13.11293
Published online: 7 April 2014

To the Editor: Park and colleagues’ important scientific contribution draws attention to the risk of exposure to asbestos in home renovation, a risk often unrecognised by those doing such work.1 However, by stating that the risk of disease from chrysotile asbestos “is still controversial”, the authors promote unproven and unsubstantiated claims that chrysotile asbestos can be used safely, and cast doubt on the findings of multiple international health organisations that conclude otherwise.2,3 In stating this, Park et al refer to Bernstein and colleagues’ work,4 which is funded by the very trade lobbies promoting the use of chrysotile.

  • Richard A Lemen1,2
  • Arthur L Frank3
  • Colin L Soskolne4,5
  • Stanley H Weiss6
  • Barry I Castleman7

  • 1 United States Public Health Service, Canton, Ga, USA.
  • 2 Department of Environmental Health, Emory University, Atlanta, Ga, USA.
  • 3 Environmental and Occupational Health, Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pa, USA.
  • 4 University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
  • 5 Faculty of Health, University of Canberra, Canberra, ACT.
  • 6 Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health, New Jersey School of Public Health, Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, New Jersey Medical School, Newark, NJ, USA.
  • 7 Garrett Park, Md, USA.


Competing interests:

All authors have been retained and/or testified as expert witnesses in asbestos personal injury compensation claims, usually at the request of plaintiffs. Remuneration for such work is donated by Arthur Frank to his employing institution.


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