Posted on February 11, 2015

Dr. Jukka Takala

Dr. Jukka Takala is a senior consultant at the Workplace Safety and Health Institute (WSH) and Adjunct Professor at Tampere University of Technology, Finland. He is a world renowned doctor with over 40 years of experience in occupational safety. Prior to joining the WSH Institute, he was the Director of the European Agency for Safey and Health at Work (EU-OSHA). He also held several positions in the ILO (International Labor Organization) in Africa, Asia and at the ILO Headquarters for the global InFocus Programme on Safework in Geneva Switzerland. Thank you Dr. Takala for your insightful and interesting PowerPoint presentation, “Asbestos – Trends and Action Globally and in Singapore,” and guest blog! ~ Linda Reinestein


“Asbestos Is a Bigger Problem Than Most Have Estimated,” Guest Blog by Dr. Jukka Takala

Citizens and workers in more than 50 countries are reasonably aware and have less exposure to asbestos, the substance which causes many deadly diseases. Asbestos use is prohibited in those countries. Elsewhere in some 150 other countries this is not the case.

In the past some 5 million, and today, 2 million tons of asbestos are annually used in the world. Per 170 tons of asbestos use there one or more mesothelioma deaths occurring 20-50 years after the exposure. Mesothelioma is a cancer of the pleura, outside layer of the lungs.

Depending on the type of asbestos a varying number of lung cancers, and other cancers, are caused by asbestos fibres. Chrysotile, today the predominantly used asbestos type, causes 2-10 times the number of mesothelioma cases, an average of 6.1 times more lung cancers according to IARC/WHO experts.

This lung cancer is often dismissed as the outcome looks very much the same as the lung cancer caused by active or passive smoking.

Globally we may have 30-50,000 mesothelioma deaths, an estimate by experts today, and there may be 150,000 – or more – lung cancer deaths, every year, for the foreseeable future.

This must be stopped!

“Asbestos – Trends and Action Globally and in Singapore” by Dr Jukka Takala and Ms.Lynnette Goh, Workplace Safety and Health Institute, Ministry of Manpower, Singapore.


The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO),  a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, does not make legal referrals.