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International Conference on Monitoring and Surveillance of Asbestos-Related Diseases 11-13 February 2014, Finland

The International Conference on Monitoring and Surveillance of Asbestos-Related Diseases on 11-13 February 2014 in Espoo gathered together 140 experts from 23 countries.

During the conference six keynote lectures were given. Furthermore 36 oral free communications and 20 poster presentations was presented in the parallel sessions.

The keynote lectures were:

Exposure to asbestos and exposure monitoring presented by professor Timo Tuomi from the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health

Asbestos-related diseases - mechanisms and causation presented by Professor Agnes Kane from Brown University, USA

Epidemiology and trends of asbestos-related diseases presented by Professor Ken Takahashi from the University of Occupational and Environmental Health, Japan

Health Surveillance of asbestos-exposed workers  presented by Professor Massimo Corradi from University of Parma, Italy 

Screening in Asbestos-related diseases (lung cancer) presented by Professor Robert Smith from the American Cancer Society
Asbestos exposure in demolition work presented by Professor John Cherrie from the Institute of Occupational Medicine, United Kingdom

The International Expert Group of 30 experts has updated the Helsinki Criteria from 1997, which is an internationally used document of expert recommendations for assessment of asbestos exposure and the diagnostics of asbestos-induced diseases. The update work was focused on four areas;

1. CT Screening for asbestos-related lung cancer
2. Diagnostics and follow-up
3. New asbestos-related disease entities
4. Pathology and biomarkers

The updated recommendations was presented and discussed at the Conference. The Helsinki Criteria updates will now be finalized and published as a book as well as electronically on the FIOH website during 2014. The Consensus report including executive summary and merged recommendations will be offered to be published as Commentary in SJWEH.

The main message from the conference is that there is no safe use of asbestos and the only way of preventing asbestos-related deaths are by banning the new use of asbestos. The Conference accepted a common “Helsinki Asbestos 2014 -declaration.

The Organizers of the Conference thank all participants and lecturers for an interesting and successful conference.
Helsinki Asbestos 2014 Participant register description
Helsinki Asbestos 2014 Data protection and data security description

 The Twitter hashtag for the event is #asbestos2014. See the related tweets below:        

Modified 24.02.2015