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Report on cancer risks associated with the ingestion of asbestos.

Lemen R; Meinhardt T; Becking G; Cantor K; Cherner J; Cordle F; Groth D; Keller C; Lybarger J; McConnell E; Millette J; Patel Y; Sonich-Mullin C; Tollefson L
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 1986 Jan; :1-47
Cancer risks associated with ingestion of asbestos (1332214) are discussed. Asbestos contamination of drinking water is considered. At least 66.5 percent of the United States water systems are capable of eroding asbestos cement pipes. The ability of water to leach asbestos from asbestos cement pipes can be modified by coatings applied to the inside pipe surface. Asbestos contamination in foods or pharmaceuticals is discussed. Asbestos fibers at concentrations of 1.1 to 172.7 million fibers per liter have been found in beverages. To date, studies supported by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have provided no evidence that ingesting asbestos results in an increased cancer risk. The FDA has determined that no prohibition on using asbestos filters in processing food, beverages, and non parenteral drugs is needed. Toxicological studies on asbestos ingestion and carcinogenicity are reviewed. Epidemiological evaluations of the association between drinking water supplies containing asbestos and cancer mortality are discussed. The authors conclude that the available information is insufficient for assessing the risk of cancer associated with ingesting asbestos. If an epidemiologic association exists, it is probably weak relative to background cancer rates. Epidemiologic research methods are limited in their ability to detect small increases in risk.
NIOSH-Author; Inhalants; Pulmonary-system; Respiratory-irritants; Toxic-effects; Biological-effects; Epidemiology; Dust-exposure; Lung-function; Asbestos-dust; Author Keywords: Asbestos; Ingestion; Cancer; Risk Assessment; Gastrointestinal; Tumors; Fibers; MaIignancies; Environmental
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division