Harries, P. G., Mackenzie, F. A. F., Sheers, G., Kemp, J. H., Oliver, T. P., and Wright, D. S. (1972).Brit. J. industr. Med.,29, 274-279. Radiological survey of men exposed to asbestos in naval dockyards. Asbestos related abnormalities were found in 3% of a 10% sample population in radiological surveys of the naval dockyards at Portsmouth, Chatham, and Rosyth. The prevalence of these abnormalities was related to the type of occupation and duration of exposure to asbestos. The results confirm the findings of an earlier survey at Devonport dockyard.
No association between smoking, or the amount smoked, and the incidence of parenchymal or pleural disease due to asbestos was detected.
Pleural abnormalities were found 10 times more frequently than parenchymal disease, and concern is felt over the uncertainty of the prognosis in men with pleural abnormalities, especially as 37 men have developed pleural mesothelioma at Devonport since 1965.
More work is required to establish the true significance of pleural abnormalities caused by asbestos and to explore possible methods of treatment.
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