141st APHA Annual Meeting

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The Nexus Between Public Health Evidence and Policy: The International Battle to List Chrysotile Asbestos as Hazardous

Tuesday, November 5, 2013: 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
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, 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 (http://www.jpc-se.org/position.htm). It has subsequently been endorsed by many additional professional organizations from around the world (http://www.jpc-se.org/documents/04.JPC-SE-Position_Statement_on_Asbestos-June_4_2012-AppendixB_English.pdf). This symposium will: • 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 (http://epimonitor.net/Epidemiology_Societies_Cooporate_On_Asbestos_Statement.htm). • 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. • Discuss recent and ongoing international issues in countries such as Canada, Brazil, Peru, Russia, Thailand and developing world countries, plus that involving organizations such as WHO and IARC, with a focus on interventions by the JPC-SE and their impact. • Summarize a new evolving understanding of the impact of latency to the interpretation of cohort studies and meta-analyses. • 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. • Discuss the significance of the Rotterdam Convention and the outcomes from its two-yearly Conference of the Parties that will have been 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 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
Stanley H. Weiss, MD, FACP, FACE
Stanley H. Weiss, MD, FACP, FACE , Colin Soskolne, PhD , Robin Taylor Wilson, MA, PhD , Elquemedo Oscar Alleyne, DrPH MPH , Wael Al-Delaimy, MD, PhD and Manley Finch, PhD, MPH

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Organized by: Epidemiology

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