Meurman, L. O., Kiviluoto, R., and Hakama, M. (1974).British Journal of Industrial Medicine,31, 105-112. Mortality and morbidity among the working population of anthophyllite asbestos miners in Finland. A study has been made in Finland of the effects of anthophyllite asbestos on mortality and morbidity of 1 092 asbestos workers first employed at two mines between 1936 and 1969; 95% of workers were traced, 248 of whom had died. A similar number of age-sex-matched controls was selected from a township 60 km from the mines. The causes of death included an excess due to lung cancer and asbestosis, but cancers of the digestive system occurred in equal frequency, and neither the cases nor controls had any confirmed mesotheliomas. Assuming a multiplicative effect of asbestos and smoking, the relative risk of lung cancer was 17 for an asbestos worker who smokes in terms of a non-exposed non-smoker. The corresponding figures were 12 for a smoker without asbestos exposure and 1·4 for an asbestos worker who did not smoke. More heavy smokers were found among the asbestos workers than among the controls. A threefold excess of dyspnoea and a twofold excess of cough were recorded for the asbestos workers compared with the controls after adjustment for smoking.
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