In reply: We thank Lemen and colleagues for their letter. However, this seems to go beyond both the intention and the scope of the article. We did not state that the risk of disease from chrysotile “is still controversial”; we stated that “no threshold for exposure has been identified for chrysotile in recent World Health Organization reports, although this issue is still controversial”, then citing Bernstein and colleagues.1 This reference was not cited in our original manuscript, but was specifically requested by one of the reviewers. Although we seldom agree totally with every paper (or indeed with every reviewer), we would defend the right of authors to quote peer-reviewed papers in order to present the spectrum of opinion, and also that of reviewers to suggest this. Both the chrysotile debate and other researchers’ funding are outside the focus of our paper, which was to highlight a serious and widespread exposure to asbestos in Australia.
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