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Pleural mesothelioma in relation to meteorological conditions and residential distance from an industrial source of asbestos


Objectives Few studies have focused on pleural mesothelioma and environmental exposure in individuals residing around an industrial source of asbestos. The aim of this study is to determine whether residential distance and wind conditions are related to the risk of developing pleural mesothelioma.

Methods In this retrospective cohort study carried out in an area of Barcelona province (Catalonia, Spain), 24 environmental pleural mesothelioma cases were diagnosed between 2000 and 2009. We calculated the age-standardised incidence rate ratios of developing this disease in the population studied, taking into account the residential distance from the plant. For cases living within a 500-m radius of the plant, the geographical location in relation to the factory was also assessed.

Results The incidence rate of environmental pleural mesothelioma was higher in the population living within 500 m of the plant than in those living in a radius of 500–2000 m and much higher than those living at 2000–10 000 m. The highest incidence rate ratio for pleural mesothelioma (161.9) was found in the southeast quadrant of the 500-m area, coinciding with the predominant wind direction.

Conclusions Residential distance from an industrial source of asbestos and local wind conditions have a considerable impact on the risk of developing environmental pleural mesothelioma.

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