Association of mesothelioma deaths with neighborhood asbestos exposure due to a large-scale asbestos-cement plant

Cancer Science 2023 April 3 [Link]

Yuri Kitamura, Ling Zha, Rong Liu, Masayuki Shima, Tomoki Nakaya, Norio Kurumatani, Shinji Kumagai, Junko Goji, Tomotaka Sobue


A causal relationship between mesothelioma and occupational asbestos exposure is well known, while some studies have shown a relationship to non-occupational exposures. The aim of this study was to quantify the risk of mesothelioma death associated with neighborhood asbestos exposure due to a large-scale asbestos-cement (AC) plant in Amagasaki, Japan, adjusting properly risk factors including occupational exposures. We conducted a nested case-control study in which a fixed population of 143,929 residents who had been living in Amagasaki City between 1975 and 2002 were followed from 2002 to 2015. All 133 cases and 403 matched controls were interviewed about their occupational, domestic, household, and neighborhood asbestos exposures. Odds ratios (ORs) for mesothelioma death associated with the neighborhood exposure were estimated by a conditional logistic-regression model. For quantitative assessments for neighborhood exposure, we adopted cumulative indices for individuals’ residential histories at each residence-specific asbestos concentration multiplied by the duration during the potential exposure period of 1957-1975 (crocidolite). We observed an increasing, dose-dependent risk of mesothelioma death associated with neighborhood exposure, demonstrating that ORs in the highest quintile category were 21.4 (95% confidence interval [CI] 5.8-79.2) for all, 23.7 (95% CI 3.8-147.2) for males, and 26.0 (95% CI 2.8-237.5) for females compared to the lowest quintile, respectively. A quantitative assessment for risk of mesothelioma deaths, adjusting for occupational and non-occupational exposures separately, showed a dose-dependent association with neighborhood exposure and no substantial gender differences in magnitude.