Table 3

TEM asbestos lung burdens (million asbestos fibres ≥5 µm in length per dry gram) by most hazardous occupation

Panel A: Males born since 1940
Highest occupational exposure categoryAsbestos lung burden (million fibres per dry gram)Meso OR vs population controls*Mean asbestos lung burden (million fibres per dry gram)
0−0.025−0.05−0.2−0.5−≥1.0TotalAmositeCrocidoliteOther amphibolesChrysotileAll asbestos
Non-construction high-risk occupations
 Lung cancer1519130290.1000.0130.0030.0050.121
 Lung cancer31320090.0880.0020.0050.0000.095
Plumbers, electricians and painter/decorators
 Lung cancer1245311260.0950.0400.0060.0010.143
Other construction or other reported exposure
 Lung cancer283131450.0270.0040.0020.0020.036
Medium risk industrial
 Lung cancer2257101†360.078†0.015†0.0050.0010.098†
Domestic exposure
 Lung cancer44080.0090.0040.0060.0010.020
Low-risk occupations
 Mesothelioma10121.0 (ref)0.0150.0180.0050.0000.038
 Lung cancer2144290.0100.0030.0070.0020.021
 Lung cancer10522418421820.058†0.012†0.0040.0020.077†
High−risk occupations
 Mesothelioma1 (1)1 (1)002 (2)4.80.0250.0000.0000.0000.025
 Lung cancer310040.0100.0000.0000.0030.013
Medium risk industrial
 Mesothelioma5 (1)1 (1)107 (2)2.40.0040.0270.0030.0000.034
 Lung cancer20140250.0120.0020.0030.0020.019
Domestic exposure
 Mesothelioma2 (2)02 (1)3 (1)7 (4)1.90.1030.0770.0040.0030.186
 Lung cancer13601200.0180.0060.0020.0010.027
Low-risk occupations
 Mesothelioma5 (1)04 (1)1 (1)10 (3)1.0 (ref)0.0670.0170.0010.0030.087
 Lung cancer26320310.0090.0020.0020.0010.013
 Mesothelioma13 (5)2 (2)7 (2)4 (2)26 (11)0.0560.0340.0020.0020.095
 Lung cancer621161800.0120.0030.0030.0010.019
  • *Male mesothelioma ORs from the original case–control study.1

  • †One lung cancer with 22.0 mf/g was recoded as 2.08 mf/g (see table 2 footnote *).

  • Retaining the original value increases the mean fibre count in lung cancers to 0.555 for amosite, 0.091 for crocidolite and 0.651 for all asbestos in the medium risk group, and to 0.153 for amosite, 0.027 for crocidolite and 0.186 for all asbestos in all male lung cancers.

  • TEM, transmission electron microscopy.

  • *Female mesothelioma ORs from the original case–control study.1