Asbestos: ACCP 2009 Consensus Statement

In 2004, the American Thoracic Society (ATS) updated its Official Statement on the non-malignant health effects of asbestos. This paper primarily dealt with diagnostic and initial management issues.

The American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP) just recently released its Consensus Statement on the Respiratory Health Effects of Asbestos. This paper examined expert opinion on a large number of issues pertaining to asbestos and its adverse health effects, including cancers. The College invited an international group of published experts on asbestos for a Delphi methodology study. The expert panel achieved consensus on 23 issues pertaining to the health effects of asbestos.

The experts had consensus agreement on a number of issues, including the following:

  1. In an asbestos-exposed worker without asbestosis and with, the recognition of asbestosis among ccoworkers with similar exposures is sufficient to attribute the worker’s lung cancer to asbestos exposure.
  2. Workers who have significant asbestos exposure (but who do not have asbestosis) are at increased risk of bronchogenic carcinoma (lung cancer)
  3. Workers with asbestos exposure and pleural plaques or diffuse pleural thickening (but not pulmonary fibrosis, i.e asbestosis) are at increased risk for mesothelioma.
  4. Asbestos exposure causes other neoplasms (cancers) in addition to lung cancerĀ  and mesothelioma.