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This presentation will serve as an introductory overview to the following presentations on regional trends and perspectives on asbestos related diseases (ARD). First, the evidence on ARD will be summarized regarding asbestos related cancers (based on the IARC Monographs) and other asbestos related diseases (based on the Helsinki criteria). Next, a brief overview will discuss strengths and limitations of the different approaches to estimate the burden of ARD, and also point to ongoing activities on ARD. The presentation will conclude with global policy on the elimination of ARD.