Download PDFPDF
Mesothelioma among vehicle mechanics: a controversy?
Compose Response

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Author Information
First or given name, e.g. 'Peter'.
Your last, or family, name, e.g. 'MacMoody'.
Your email address, e.g.
Your role and/or occupation, e.g. 'Orthopedic Surgeon'.
Your organization or institution (if applicable), e.g. 'Royal Free Hospital'.
Statement of Competing Interests


  • A rapid response is a moderated but not peer reviewed online response to a published article in a BMJ journal; it will not receive a DOI and will not be indexed unless it is also republished as a Letter, Correspondence or as other content. Find out more about rapid responses.
  • We intend to post all responses which are approved by the Editor, within 14 days (BMJ Journals) or 24 hours (The BMJ), however timeframes cannot be guaranteed. Responses must comply with our requirements and should contribute substantially to the topic, but it is at our absolute discretion whether we publish a response, and we reserve the right to edit or remove responses before and after publication and also republish some or all in other BMJ publications, including third party local editions in other countries and languages
  • Our requirements are stated in our rapid response terms and conditions and must be read. These include ensuring that: i) you do not include any illustrative content including tables and graphs, ii) you do not include any information that includes specifics about any patients,iii) you do not include any original data, unless it has already been published in a peer reviewed journal and you have included a reference, iv) your response is lawful, not defamatory, original and accurate, v) you declare any competing interests, vi) you understand that your name and other personal details set out in our rapid response terms and conditions will be published with any responses we publish and vii) you understand that once a response is published, we may continue to publish your response and/or edit or remove it in the future.
  • By submitting this rapid response you are agreeing to our terms and conditions for rapid responses and understand that your personal data will be processed in accordance with those terms and our privacy notice.
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Vertical Tabs

Other responses

Jump to comment:

  • Published on:
    Malignant Mesothelioma Among Vehicle Mechanics

    Hessel(1) published an editorial concerning mesothelioma among vehicle mechanics and concluded that ‘with nearly two dozen studies of mesothelioma among vehicle mechanics and no evidence of increased risk, it would appear obvious that vehicle mechanics as an occupational group, are not at increased risk of mesothelioma.’ In my opinion Hessel relies too heavily upon epidemiology for his conclusions. Epidemiology is important if studies reliably address the question at issue, but published epidemiologic studies are generally not helpful to the evaluation of risk among vehicle mechanics. Few were designed to be studies of mesothelioma in mechanics. Most are general studies of the disease Mesothelioma in which some of the subjects happened to be mechanics. Since they were not designed to be studies of vehicle mechanics, none of the information necessary for a study of risk, such as the numbers of brake jobs performed, the use of compressed air, sanding or grinding, was collected. Not a single one of the studies had information adequate to compute a quantitative exposure estimate for any of the subjects. Misclassification of exposures will mask risk among those truly exposed(2,3).
    Hessel suggests that the paper in Thorax by Thomsen (4) supports his opinion. The aim of that paper was to compare risk among men in a cohort of vehicle mechanics with a comparison cohort of men not occupationally exposed to asbestos. When studying risk in a population exposed to a toxic subs...

    Show More
    Conflict of Interest:
    The author has worked as a consultant to attorneys representing plaintiffs in asbestos litigation.