Prof. Daniel E. Banks, visiting Professor, Head, Department of Medicine and Physician-in-Chief, University Hospital, Louisiana State University, School of Medicine, Shreveport, LA, USA delivered 8thDrS.K.Malik oration at the PGIMER, Chandigarh. The oration was instituted in the memory of late DrS.K.Malik who headed the department of Pulmonary Medicine untill his death. Since thereafter, Dr S.K. Jindal who took over in 1988, is heading the department.Dr Jindal introduced the orator to the audience and the Director,DrK.K.Talwar presented the oration scroll and memento to Dr Banks.
Dr Banks spoke on the subject “Asbestos Exposure in the US and India – two different paths”. He talked about the widespread use of asbestos in India. It is a fire-proofing and insulating material used in corrugated cement sheets, plasters and other building articles is hazardous. It is considered responsible for causing lung and pleural cancers,especially in the smokers. Asbestosis is an important and often fatal form of occupational lung disease. While the incidence of the more commonly known occupational diseases such as silicosis and coal-workers pneumoconiosis is decreasing, the prevalence of asbestos related lung disease and cancer is on the rise.
An important point about the asbestos- risk lies in its effects even from a low degree of exposure after a long latency period of several decades. The development of cancer generally occurs after 30-40 years from an early exposure to its fibres for a short period. There is a gradual decline of asbestos use and consequently the pleural cancer (mesotheliomas) in the West, compared to a progressive increase in India. There is a great need of putting strict regulations in force to contain the health-risks of asbestos.
DrS.K.Jindal, Head, Department of Pulmonary Medicine
Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh