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Japanese doctors are stepping up efforts to help Asia’s developing economies stop using asbestos, sharing knowledge bitterly learned in Japan about the serious and fatal illnesses caused by the material that was used in abundance during the postwar economic boom through the 1970s.

Emerging economies continue using the affordable but hazardous silicate minerals “because they are still in the process of development and because the 30- to 50-year latent period of mesothelioma has prevented widespread recognition of future costs,” said Ken Takahashi, a professor at the University of Occupational and Environmental Health, Japan.

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