By Guadalupe Aguilar Madrid, M.D., MSc, Ph.D.
Mexico has long imported tons of asbestos, mostly from Canada, since the 1970s. In fact, much asbestos consumption has transitioned from the US to Mexico since that time. In 2001, more than 1880 firms were involved in the importation of asbestos into Mexico. This import of asbestos to Mexico has meant that since 1998 there is an epidemic of cases in progress of pleural mesothelioma, approximately amounting to 500 cases per year, and 1000 cases of lung cancer associated with asbestos. Yet, asbestos companies remain unpunished without absorbing the costs of this epidemic.
Hope resides in the fact that some Latin America countries have banned asbestos including Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, and Honduras. However, the importation of asbestos continues to rise in Mexico. Treatment, safety precautions, and awareness continue to lag. Communities like Global Asbestos Awareness Network (GBAN) help to raise this awareness but much still remains to be done in Mexico where incidence rates are largely underreported.
Watch this YouTube Video by Dr. Madrid: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJBKTMprh00&NR=1
Guadalupe Aguilar Madrid, M.D., MSc, Ph.D., will be recognized with the Dr. Irving Selikoff Lifetime Achievement Award in honor of her dedicated research on the social and medical impact of asbestos on humankind in Mexico and around the world. Dr. Madrid will be presenting at the Asbestos Awareness Conference on April 2, 2011. https://www.asbestosdiseaseawareness.org/adao-conference/