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Follow up study of workers manufacturing chrysotile asbestos cement products.
  1. M J Gardner,
  2. P D Winter,
  3. B Pannett,
  4. C A Powell

    Abstract

    A cohort study has been carried out of 2167 subjects employed between 1941 and 1983 at an asbestos cement factory in England. The production process incorporated the use of chrysotile asbestos fibre only, except for a small amount of amosite during four months in 1976. Measured airborne fibre concentrations available since 1970 from personal samplers showed mean levels below 1 fibre/ml, although higher levels had probably occurred previously in certain areas of the factory. No excess of lung cancer was observed in the mortality follow up by comparison with either national or local death rates, and analyses of subgroups of the workforce by job, exposure level, duration of employment, duration since entry, or calendar years of employment gave no real suggestion of an asbestos related excess for this cause of death. There was one death from pleural mesothelioma and one with asbestosis mentioned as an associated cause on the death certificate, but neither is thought to be linked to asbestos exposure at this factory. Other suggested asbestos related cancers, such as laryngeal and gastrointestinal, did not show raised risks. Although the durations of exposure were short in this study, the findings are consistent with two other studies of workers exposed to low concentrations of chrysotile fibre in the manufacture of asbestos cement products which reported no excess mortality.

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