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Print version ISSN 0121-0793


OSSA GIRALDO, Ana Claudia; GOMEZ GALLEGO, Diana Maryory  and  ESPINAL CORREA, Claudia Elena. Asbestos in Colombia: A silent enemy. Iatreia [online]. 2014, vol.27, n.1, pp.53-62. ISSN 0121-0793.

Asbestos is a group of fibrous non-metallic minerals, composed of double chain silicates, that shows high resistance to tension and chemical degradation and low thermal conductivity. Despite being recognized as carcinogenic agents by the World Health Organization (WHO), based on experimental evidences and population studies, asbestos are still used in many countries at the expense of the health of workers. This has become a worldwide problem associated with the increase of asbestos-related diseases in exposed persons. In this article, we review asbestos and their associated diseases; the use, exposure and existing regulations on asbestos both in Colombia and in other countries. Finally, we raise the possibility of evaluating the usefulness of genetic monitoring in addition to following-up exposed individuals. This would enable a better surveillance in our country with respect to lung cancer, mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases.

Keywords : Asbestos; Asbestosis; Biomonitoring; Lung Cancer; Mesothelioma.

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