Online Program

The Nexus between Public Health Evidence and Policy: The International Battle to List Chrysotile Asbestos as Hazardous [Organized by: The Joint Policy Committee of the Societies of Epidemiology (JPC-SE) and the APHA Epidemiology Section, as part of their joint “Future of Epidemiology” series, which has been convened annually at the APHA Annual Meeting since 2007]

Tuesday, November 5, 2013: 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Panel Discussion
Alerted to the evolving international policy issues involving chrysotile asbestos by a plenary talk at the 3rd Congress of Epidemiology in Montreal in June 2011 by Dr. Soskolne, the Joint Policy Committee of the Societies of Epidemiology (JPC-SE) undertook the development of a Position Statement on Asbestos. It was issued on July 24, 2012 ( It has subsequently been endorsed by many additional professional organizations from around the world ( as well as individuals (Appendix C on that site). This symposium will: 1) Review portions of this Statement and current epidemiologic science about chrysotile asbestos risks, and outline the novel collaborative process by which the Statement was developed and endorsed (and reported on by the EpiMonitor in a special issue - see; 2) Highlight ethical issues related to conflict of interest and the manufacturing of doubt by the industry, as well as their use by scientists for this purpose. The approach of “doubt science” was developed by the tobacco industry, and has been implemented by the asbestos industry with a specious “anything but chrysotile” argument; 3) Discuss recent and ongoing international issues in countries such as Canada, Brazil, Peru, Russia, Thailand and developing world countries, with a focus on interventions by the JPC-SE and their impact; 4) Summarize a new evolving understanding of the impact of latency to the interpretation of cohort studies and meta-analyses; 5) Discuss some possible methodological limitations in the design of a study in Russia concerning chrysotile asbestos exposure, and public distortions of past work by some its principals; 6) Discuss the significance of the Rotterdam Convention and the outcomes from its most recent two-yearly "Conference of the Parties" held in May, 2013. The panelists are all currently serving on the JPC-SE, and include its Chair and the current primary representatives from several of its member societies. After an introduction and brief presentations by the panelists, there will be comments from the panelists and then a question and answer portion.
Session Objectives: Discuss current epidemiologic knowledge relating to chrysotile asbestos. Explain common limitations to many studies and the implications on published results, particularly from the junk science infiltration into the literature. Describe the purposes of the JPC-SE and the role that organizations such as the APHA and the APHA Epidemiology Section are playing.
Stanley H. Weiss, MD, FACP, FACE and Robin Taylor Wilson, PhD, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine
Stanley H. Weiss, MD, FACP, FACE

Welcoming Remarks Drs. Weiss (Chair of the JPC-SE) and Wilson (Chair of the APHA Epidemiology Section) will welcome the audience, introduce the session, summarize the history of the series concerning "The Future of Epidemiology," and introduce today's presenters.

Stanley H. Weiss, MD, FACP, FACE
Discussion The panelists will provide additional comments, followed by Dr. Wilson leading the Question and Answer portion.

See individual abstracts for presenting author's disclosure statement and author's information.

Organized by: Epidemiology
Endorsed by: Ethics SPIG, Medical Care

CE Credits: Medical (CME), Health Education (CHES), Nursing (CNE), Public Health (CPH) , Masters Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES)

See more of: Epidemiology