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January 1, 1992

The Health Hazards of Asbestos Removal-Reply

Author Affiliations

American Medical Association Council on Scientific Affairs Chicago, Ill

JAMA. 1992;267(1):53. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03480010060012

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In Reply.  —The letter from Ms MacDonald raises several issues. The AMA Council on Scientific Affairs report on asbestos does not deny the importance of building inspections. However, decisions to remove asbestos should be evaluated on the basis of sound scientific criteria and not pressure from one or another special interest group. While asbestos is certainly a carcinogen, on the basis of most recent evidence, the threat it poses to building occupants is minimal. A new report released in September 1991 by the Health Effects Institute notes that arbitrarily removing asbestos from a well-maintained building is not justified and may actually in