Asbestos and environmental health experts, Mr. Drew Van Orden, P.E., Dr. Richard J. Lee, Mr. Matthew S. Sanchez, and Mr. Matthew D. Zock, CIH, at RJ Lee Group, Inc., an industrial forensic consulting firm and analytical laboratory, recently co-authored three asbestos-centered publications that are now available on the Annals of Respiratory Medicine website. These publications, a review article, a case report and a case study all deal with the pathogenicity of crocidolite asbestos fiber width as a causative agent for mesothelioma (asbestos-related disease). The scientific and legal impact of these studies is that the results indicate that current models may overestimate asbestos risk by not including fibers which were not able to be identified when the models were developed, but which analytical technology today is able to detect. The incorporation of fiber width into the risk models, developed in the 1970s and still in use today, has been limited by the availability of data from operating asbestos plants and, in particular, ones with unregulated workplace exposure similar to those on which current models were based, or from those where there is no observable mesothelioma. Mr. Van Orden, Dr. Ilgren and Ms. Kamiya conducted a study at a Bolivian asbestos cement plant that uses crocidolite during the production of roofing shingles and water tanks. The study is the first to use modern analytical measurements in an uncontrolled asbestos environment. Their results suggest that fiber concentrations were far in excess of those for which current models would predict the onset of adverse health effects, yet the plant and community did not have an elevated incidence of asbestos disease or mesothelioma.
The trio of publications include the case study, “Evaluation of Airborne Crocidolite Fibers at an Asbestos-Cement Plant”, by Drew R Van Orden, Richard J. Lee, Matthew S. Sanchez, Matthew D. Zock, Edward B. Ilgren and Yumi Kamiya; the case report, “The Size Distribution of Airborne Bolivian Crocidolite Fibers” by Drew R. Van Orden, Richard J. Lee, Matthew S. Sanchez and Matthew D. Zock; and the review article, “Further Evidence for Fiber Width as a Determinant of Mesothelioma Induction and Threshold Anthophyllite, Bolivian Crocidolite, and Cape Crocidolite”, by Edward B. Ilgren, Drew R Van Orden, Richard J. Lee, Yumi Kamiya and John A. Hoskins.
About RJ Lee Group
RJ Lee Group is an industrial forensics consulting firm and analytical laboratory that is recognized as a leader in providing innovative solutions to challenges in materials characterization, forensic engineering, and information management. For 30 years, we have been using our scientific expertise, instrumentation and technology to offer support strategies and provide solutions to our customers. RJ Lee Group is a 300-person company with headquarters located in Monroeville, Pa. For more information visit our website at www.rjlg.com