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Asbestos related diseases among workers of asbestos processing plants in relation to type of production and asbestos use

Medycyna Pracy [Link]

Szeszenia-Dąbrowska N, Świątkowska B, Sobala W, Szubert Z, Wilczyhska U.

Abstract

Background

Asbestos dust is one of the most dangerous pneumoconiotic and carcinogenic agents. The aim of this study was to assess the occurrence of asbestosis and pleural mesothelioma, depending on asbestos consumption and the type of manufactured products, among former asbestos workers in Poland.

Material and Methods

The study subjects included employees of 18 large state-owned asbestos processing enterprises operating in the Polish market in 1945-1998. The study is based on data obtained from asbestos company records and the Central Register of Occupational Diseases data on the cases of asbestosis and mesothelioma for the period from 1970 till 2012 as well as data from Amiantus Programme. The analysis was performed for 5 sectors comprising plants classified according to the products manufactured and applied production technology.

Results

In the study period, 2160 cases of asbestosis and 138 cases of mesothelioma were reported. The plants processed a total of about 2 million tonnes of asbestos, including about 7.5% of crocidolite. Total asbestos consumption was a strong predictor of the rate ofasbestosis incidence (R2 = 0.68, p = 0.055). The highest risk occurrence of asbestosis was observed in the production of textiles and sealing products. Mesothelioma occurred only in plants where crocidolite had been ever processed.

Conclusions

Total asbestos consumption was a strong predictor of the rate of ashestosis incidence. The observation confirms the relationship between exposure to crocidolite and the occurrence of nesotheliona, regardless of the manufactured products, and suggests the absence of such a link for the total volume of asbestos consumption.

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