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  1. D. Loomis1,
  2. S. H. Wolf2,
  3. J. M. Dement3,
  4. D. B. Richardson2
  1. 1University of Nevada
  2. 2University of North Carolina
  3. 3Duke University

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    To evaluate mortality among workers exposed to the chrysotile form of asbestos.


    Workers employed for at least 30 days between 1 January 1950 and 31 December 1973 in any of four plants in North Carolina, USA that produced asbestos textile products were enumerated and vital status was ascertained through 31 December 2003. Standardised mortality ratios (SMRs) comparing death rates in the cohort and the national population were computed using the NIOSH Life Table Analysis System. Poisson regression was used to compute adjusted mortality rate ratios by duration of employment.


    After exclusion of workers with missing or invalid data, 5782 individuals were included in the analysis. Follow-up resulted in 184 087 person-years of observation, with 2585 workers known dead, 2821 alive and 376 unknown. There were 275 deaths from lung cancer. Mortality from all causes and all cancers was higher than expected with SMRs of about 1.4 and lung cancer mortality was significantly elevated (SMR 1.96, 95% CI 1.74 to 2.21). Under a 20-year lag assumption, the SMR for lung cancer was 2.35 (95% CI 2.04 to 2.70). The SMR for lung cancer increased with time since first exposure (0.92 for 0–10 years, 1.21 for 10–20 years, 1.65 for 20–30 years and 2.37 for 30+ years). Relative to workers employed for <10 years, the rate ratio for lung cancer increased linearly among workers employed for 10–20 years and 20–30 years, and to a lesser degree among those employed for 30 years or more. Elevated SMRs were also observed for pneumoconiosis (SMR 3.37, 95% CI 2.62 to 4.25), mesothelioma (SMR 11.1, 95% CI 3.03 to 28.4) and cancer of the pleura (SMR 12.7, 95% CI 3.44 to 32.3). The SMR for mesothelioma and …

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