Current Environmental Health Reports

, Volume 3, Issue 4, pp 335–347 | Cite as

Recent Scientific Evidence Regarding Asbestos Use and Health Consequences of Asbestos Exposure

  • Manuela Valenzuela
  • Margarita Giraldo
  • Sonia Gallo-Murcia
  • Juliana Pineda
  • Laura Santos
  • Juan Pablo Ramos-BonillaEmail author
Global Environmental Health and Sustainability (W Al-Delaimy, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Global Environmental Health and Sustainability


To justify the continuous use of two million tons of asbestos every year, it has been argued that a safe/controlled use can be achieved. The aim of this review was to identify recent scientific studies that present empirical evidence of: 1) health consequences resulting from past asbestos exposures and 2) current asbestos exposures resulting from asbestos use. Articles with evidence that could support or reject the safe/controlled use argument were also identified. A total of 155 articles were included in the review, and 87 % showed adverse asbestos health consequences or high asbestos exposures. Regarding the safe/controlled use, 44 articles were identified, and 82 % had evidence suggesting that the safe/controlled use is not being achieved. A large percentage of articles with evidence that support the safe/controlled use argument have a conflict of interest declared. Most of the evidence was developed in high-income countries and in countries that have already banned asbestos.


Asbestos Safe/controlled use Conflict of interest Scientific evidence 



The financial support provided by the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering from Universidad de los Andes is greatly appreciated. The authors thank Dr. Benedetto Terracini, Dr. Pietro Comba, Daniela Marsili, and Roberto Pasetto for their useful suggestions on this work. We also acknowledge Juliana Uribe and David Infante for their help.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Manuela Valenzuela, Margarita Giraldo, Sonia Gallo-Murcia, Juliana Pineda, Laura Santos, and Juan Pablo Ramos-Bonilla have no conflict of interest to declare.

Humans and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

Supplementary material

40572_2016_109_MOESM1_ESM.docx (36 kb)
Supplementary Material 1 (DOCX 36 kb)
40572_2016_109_MOESM2_ESM.docx (27 kb)
Supplementary Material 2 (DOCX 27 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manuela Valenzuela
    • 1
  • Margarita Giraldo
    • 1
  • Sonia Gallo-Murcia
    • 1
  • Juliana Pineda
    • 1
  • Laura Santos
    • 1
  • Juan Pablo Ramos-Bonilla
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringUniversidad de los AndesBogotáColombia

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