Mortality was studied among a group of 328 employees of an Ontario asbestos-cement factory who had been hired before 1960 and who had been employed for a minimum of nine years. The group of 87 men who had worked in the rock wool/fibre glass operations, or who had been otherwise minimally exposed to asbestos, had mortality rates similar to those of the general Ontario population, while the group of asbestos-exposed employees had all-cause mortality rates double those of the Ontario population, mortality rates due to malignancies five times higher than expected, and deaths attributed to lung cancer eight times more frequent than expected. According to the best evidence available, 10 of 58 deaths among the production workers were due to malignant mesothelioma and 20 to lung cancer. The men dying of mesothelioma were younger than the men dying of lung cancer with mean ages at death of 51 and 64 years respectively. An exposure model was constructed on the basis of the available air sampling data, and individual exposure histories were calculated. These exposure histories were used to investigate the exposure-response relationships for asbestos-associated malignancies.
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