OVERALL OBJECTIVE OF THE WORKSHOP AND THE JOHNSON CONFERENCE: To achieve a broad dialog in novel findings regarding asbestos and other fibrous minerals by gathering experts in asbestos health effects (physicians, toxicologists, researchers) together with experts in mineralogy, geology and measurement of fibrous minerals.


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Health Effects Workshop Agenda

Theme and Objectives:

Novel Findings in Environmental Asbestos Health Effects (July 31, 2017)

Despite decades of research, and many discoveries about health effects of asbestos, clear answers regarding mechanisms of action and pathogenicity factors remain elusive. Meanwhile, there is a paradigm shift occurring in the science of asbestos that forces us to question some long held approaches to assessing risks of elongate mineral particles (EMP). This shift requires a conscientious effort by experts in several research areas to work together closely to be sure that novel findings are being taken into account in a new context, to revise nomenclature and research approaches.

Disturbance of newly identified geologic formations containing EMP are leading to human exposure from land development and use of the material in roads, parking lots, and recreational areas, creating new exposure settings outside of traditional exposures for occupational asbestos, for which health effects are extremely difficult to assess. This NIEHS-sponsored workshop focuses on novel findings in the health effects of "asbestos" within this new paradigm, and partners with the ASTM Johnson conference sessions regarding nomenclature and characterization of EMP, to foster this multi-disciplinary dialog.

The goal of the workshop is to bring together experts in the field to share new findings that will a) guide our approaches to advancing our understanding of EMP health effects and b) lead to recommendations on how to assess them. The workshop is divided into three sessions, Non-Cancer Outcomes, Biomarkers, and Cancer Outcomes, each introduced by a keynote talk to review and summarize issues, followed by panel members who will present their perspectives. Each session will then emphasize audience participation in a panel discussion.


 We thank the ASTM Johnson Conference organizers for this opportunity to partner with them!

Johnson Conference Agenda

Mineralogy/geology of fibrous minerals

Nomenclature of fibrous minerals

Sampling, exposure risk assessment

Environmental modeling and remediation

Regulatory and legal perspectives

Analytical methods and quality assurance


The Health Effects workshop is sponsored by:

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences