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Joint checkups to spot asbestos-caused lung diseases

JIJI

The Environment Ministry will launch a model project for conducting asbestos-related lung-disease checkups in fiscal 2015 with municipalities conducting lung cancer screenings, sources said.

The ministry will ask municipalities that once hosted asbestos-linked plants to participate and will earmark funds for the budget, the sources said Saturday. Fiscal 2015 begins in April 2015.

Production and use of asbestos is banned because the material can cause lung cancer or mesothelioma when inhaled. Such problems prompted the ministry in fiscal 2006 to conduct health surveys in seven regions where such plants were located, including Amagasaki, Hyogo Prefecture.