Asbestos-related x-ray changes in foundry workers.
Am J Ind Med 1998 Aug; 34(2):197-201
Michigan has a statewide mandatory occupational disease reporting system. As part of that system, reports are received from hospital, physicians, death certificates, the worker's compensation bureau, and company medical departments. Based on this reporting, the State of Michigan has a special emphasis program for the surveillance of silicosis, a known disease outcome among foundry workers. From 1985-1996, 115 cases reported to the State Surveillance System as silicosis, pneumoconiosis not specified, or pulmonary fibrosis were reclassified as having asbestos related x-ray changes after a B-reader interpretation of each case's chest x-ray. During this same period there were an additional 697 reports confirmed as silicosis and 6,724 cases reported to the surveillance system as asbestosis. Among the 115 reports reclassified as having asbestos-related x-ray changes without evidence of silicosis-related x-ray changes, 54 had worked in foundries. Only 7 (14.8%) of these individuals had their primary work in maintenance in the foundry; 40 (85.1%) had their primary foundry work in a production job; and for 10 individuals the occupation was not known. Asbestos has been used in foundries on pipe laggings, boiler coverings, as insulation in fan housings, in gloves, aprons and curtains, as insulation in cupolas, and in ladles and insulation in sand molds. Clinicians caring for foundry workers need to be aware that asbestos-related x-ray changes are not uncommon in this population and asbestos exposure should be considered as one of the carcinogens contributing to the known increased risk of lung cancer among foundry workers.
Asbestosis; Foundries; Lung-cancer; Silicosis; X-ray-diagnosis; X-ray-analysis; Carcinogens; Foundry-workers;
Author Keywords: asbestosis; foundries; lung cancer; mesothelioma; silicosis; pleural plaques
Kenneth D. Rosenman, MD, Michigan State University, Department of Medicine, 117 West Fee Hall, East Lansing, MI 48824-1316
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
Department of Consumer & Industry Service, Michigan Department of Public Health