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Call for a global ban policy on and scientific management of asbestos to eliminate asbestos-related diseases

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Asbestos is a primary cause of cancer worldwide. Global estimates indicate workplace exposure of 125 million people and about 255,000 deaths each year. Of the approximately 300 million metric tonnes of asbestos ever produced worldwide, most will become waste and disposed of in landfills. The recycling and transforming asbestos fibre into a non-harmful product offer a sustainable solution, but a global commitment remains elusive. Urgent action is needed. Sixty-seven countries have banned the use of asbestos-containing material, however, repeated calls to stop the use of asbestos globally have gone unheeded. We call for more stringent uniform global legislation and policies, backed up by funds to induce action along with research and education required to eliminate use of asbestos. Only by doing this, will we prevent deaths due to asbestos and help protect the environment.

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Correspondence to Achyut Aryal.

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Aryal, A., Morley, C. Call for a global ban policy on and scientific management of asbestos to eliminate asbestos-related diseases. J Public Health Pol 41, 279–285 (2020).

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