A retrospective cohort mortality analysis was done, using workers from a South Carolina textile factory who were exposed to chrysotile (12001295) asbestos, estimating lung cancer risk and comparing mortality risk between race and gender groups. Chrysotile exposure levels by areas of the facility, specific textile jobs, and calendar year were estimated based on historic data. There were 289 deaths among 546 black men, 363 deaths among 1,229 white women, and 607 deaths among 1,247 white men. Of the women, 22.8% were lost to follow up, while a much higher proportion of the men was accounted for. Among white men there was a statistically significant excess of deaths from cancer, diabetes mellitus, heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, nonmalignant respiratory disease, and accidents when compared to United States national averages. When compared to South Carolina averages, deaths from cerebrovascular disease and accidents were no longer statistically significant. Approximately 50% of the nonmalignant respiratory disease deaths were due to pneumoconiosis. Among both black men and white women the only statistically significant excess, based on US rates, was pneumoconiosis and other respiratory disease. There was a statistically significant deficit in overall cancer mortality for black men and deficits for all causes of mortality for white women; however, the deficits for white women may be due to the large percentage lost to follow up. Statistically significant excess risks were observed for lung cancer and pneumoconiosis among all groups.
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