Carcinogenicity of chrysotile asbestos: a case control study of textile workers.
Chrysotile is the predominant type of asbestos used in the United States and thus represents the most important source of exposure to asbestos already in place. While the steepest exposure-response observed for lung cancer has been in workers exposed to chrysotile in textile operations, some argue that chrysotile is less carcinogenic than amphibole asbestos types. Mineral oil exposures have been hypothesized to be responsible for the highly elevated lung cancer risk seen in textile workers. A lung cancer case-control analysis among a cohort of South Carolina chrysotile asbestos textile workers was conducted. Only a modest reduction in the slope of the lung cancer exposure-response relationship was observed after controlling for mineral oil exposures. These data do not support mineral oil exposure as a plausible explanation for the elevated lung cancer risk seen in chrysotile asbestos textile workers. The possible role of longer, thinner, more carcinogenic fibers in textiles is one plausible hypothesis needing further investigation.
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