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Asbestos and Cancer.
NIOSH 1985 May:19 pages
Asbestos (1332214) and its relationship to cancer were discussed. The historical background in the development of a cause effect relationship between asbestos and cancer was reviewed. Until 1955 nearly all of the published literature on asbestos and lung cancer consisted of case reports of lung cancer and asbestosis seen together in autopsy samples. The first modern epidemiological study of asbestos exposure and cancer was also conducted in 1955 and demonstrated that the incidence rate of lung cancer was much higher in exposed workers than in the general population. Because there were no conclusive experimental data, many epidemiologists and statisticians were skeptical of the study. It was not until a New York Academy of Sciences Conference in 1964 concluded that sufficient epidemiologic data existed to support such a relationship that asbestos exposure was accepted as a cause of occupational lung cancer. Studies of retired workers exposed to asbestos from the Johns Manville Corporation were described. The studies conducted through three follow up periods, 1941 to 1969, 1941 to 1973, and 1941 to 1980, showed significant increases for all cause mortality, all cancer, lung cancer, digestive system cancer, kidney cancer, eye cancer, and noninfectious pulmonary disease mortality. The all cause and lung cancer mortality showed a good dose response relationship with cumulative asbestos exposure. The data also showed that 40 years' exposure to asbestos at the rate of 5 million particles per cubic feet per year would increase the standard mortality ratio for lung cancer by approximately 100 points.
Health-hazards; Asbestos-fibers; Occupational-exposure; Lung-cancer; Mortality-rates; Epidemiology; Risk-analysis; Risk-factors; Cancer-rates;
Proceedings of a Symposium on Epidemiology and Health Risk Assessment, Columbia, Maryland, May 14-16, 1985, Centers for Disease Control/NIOSH, 19 pages, 27 references
Page last reviewed: April 12, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division