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Asbestos refers to a group of naturally occurring minerals with fibrous structures, used in construction work and other industries. In 1972, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), concluded that lung cancer and mesotheliomas were induced in laboratory animals when asbestos was injected or inhaled. Fifteen years later, the same group classified asbestos as IARC Group 1, carcinogenic to humans. Recent estimates suggest that each year asbestos-related diseases accounted for 41,000 lung cancer deaths, 43,000- 59,000 cases of mesothelioma, and 7,000-24,000 cases of asbestosis. These numbers are expected to increase in the future, given the latency period between exposure and symptoms. This is a renewed call for global action to ban asbestos, in order to avoid further exposure and consecutive morbidities and deaths.

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