Br J Ind Med 39:344-348 doi:10.1136/oem.39.4.344
  • Articles

Mortality of two groups of women who manufactured gas masks from chrysotile and crocidolite asbestos: a 40-year follow-up

  1. E D Acheson1,
  2. M J Gardner1,
  3. E C Pippard1,
  4. L P Grime
  1. 1MRC Environmental Epidemiology Unit, University of Southampton, Southampton General Hospital, Southampton SO9 4XY, UK
  2. Lancashire Area Health Authority, Pendle and Rossendale3 Burnley General Hospital, Burnley BB10 2PQ, UK


      ABSTRACT Two groups of women were exposed to asbestos while manufacturing gas masks in Lancashire before and during the second world war. One group (in Blackburn) is believed to have been concerned almost exclusively with the manufacture of civilian respirators (containing chrysotile) while the other (in Leyland) made respirators for the armed Forces (containing crocidolite) and a much smaller number of civilian respirators. Excess mortality ascribed to lung cancer and ovarian cancer were found at the second factory (statistically significant at the 1% level) but not at the first. Mesothelioma was mentioned on the death certificates of five women who had worked in Leyland and one woman in Blackburn.