The scientific study discredits the position of the antiasbestos lobby in the U.S. and raises the question of the objectivity of tens of thousands of court decisions.
There are no bases to assert existence of any connection between influence of asbestos and development of cancer diseases – the scientists who have investigated a disease history about two million women suffering a mesothelioma (one of deadly forms of a cancer) have come to such conclusion. Sensational results have been published in magazine Risk Analysis.
Authors of research within several decades observed health of city and rural women of the USA, somehow contacted with asbestos. One of the key goals was to understand, whether (and to what extent) the degree of asbestos influence on probability of development of cancer diseases. According to the data obtained, the incidence rates in rural areas exceed urban values in more than half of the cases between 1973 and 2012. Such proportion, as experts mark, goes against the general opinion: city inhabitants much more often face asbestos, than rural. Thus, the conclusion that connection between a mesothelioma and asbestos simply does not exist is asked.
Other conclusion noted in research, concerns asbestos manufacture. As it is known, growth of occupational diseases in the USA was connected with uncontrollable application of amphibole asbestos (today amphibole is forbidden all over the world). For a long time antiasbestine activists insisted that all forms of a mineral are equally dangerous. However, new data show that after the ban on amphibole asbestos, the level of occupational diseases has sharply decreased.
It so happened that the release of the material coincided with the news that an American court confirmed the verdict to recover $4.7 billion in compensation from Johnson&Johnson for allegedly spoiled health of buyers of baby powder. The case against the manufacturer of children’s goods, based on allegations of asbestos fragments in talcum powder, became the apotheosis of anti-asbestos hysteria: the amount of compensation became record-breaking, and the company’s costs related to reputation losses and decline in the value of shares have yet to be assessed.
The discrepancy between court decisions and published scientific data cannot but be alarming. The article published in Forbes magazine in the beginning of December, considers an existing situation and states that in the near future the asbestos case which for last years has covered with blatant scandals and casting a shadow on the Ministry of Justice of the USA should be reconsidered.
Among the loud stories connected with asbestos, falsification of medical diagnoses; use of the same X-ray image in hundreds claims; corruption of officials for reception of the expert conclusions are allocated. What if a lawsuit against Johnson&Johnson is one of these scams?
Experts are seriously speculating about the possible untidiness of the campaign against Johnson&Johnson. On the air of RTVI, Baltimore surgeon-oncologist Vadim Gushchin said: “It should be immediately said that the lawsuits are completely separate from science … In fact, there are six types of asbestos, and only some of them are carcinogens. I understand that there are impurities in some kinds of talcum powder, which is the basis of this baby powder. We found asbestos and it is unknown what type of asbestos. But as the name “asbestos” at once associates with tumors, a mesothelioma, a lung cancer, ovaries all have rushed, why not to snatch at company Johnson & Johnson a good reward for this terrible disease”.
However, preconditions for change of the attitude to asbestos are looked through and in the state policy of the USA: Donald Trump who named antiasbestos lobby as swindlers at the end of 90th, promised to put in order in this sphere, and the head of the Environment Protection Agency of the USA recently declared that his department will not be engaged any more in the questions connected with asbestos.
Within many years the American courts did not demand proofs of influence of asbestos on health. Actually, any person who somehow contacted with a material, could count on reception of monetary indemnities from the manufacturer, the seller, the builder and even the employer. Such situation promoted development of the whole layer of the lawyer’s offices parasitizing on private business and for percent of sueing money at innocent businessmen. The sums of the money paid under asbestos claims, are calculated billions dollars. Their review can become disclosure of one of the largest scams of XX and XXI centuries.