Exposures and mortality among chrysotile asbestos workers. Part II: mortality.
A retrospective cohort mortality study was conducted among a cohort of 1,261 white males employed one or more months in chrysotile asbestos textile operations and followed between 1940 and 1975. Statistically significant excess mortality was observed for all causes combined (standardized mortality ratio [SMR] = 150), lung cancer (SMR = 135), diseases of the circulatory system (SMR = 125), nonmalignant respiratory diseases (SMR = 294), and accidents (SMR = 134). Using estimated fiber exposure levels in conjunction with detailed worker job histories, exposure-response relationships were investigated. Strong exposure-response relationships for lung cancer and asbestos related non-malignant respiratory diseases were observed. Compared with data for chrysotile miners and millers, chrysotile textile workers were found to experience significantly greater lung cancer mortality at lower lifetime cumulative exposure levels. Factors such as differences in airborne fiber characteristics may partially account for the large differences in exposure response between textile workers and miners and millers.
Dement, JM; Harris, RL; Symons, MJ; Shy, CM
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