International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 2019 July 22 [Link]
Krówczyńska M, Wilk E
Asbestos is harmful to human health; exposure to asbestos causes a wide range of asbestos-related diseases.
Malignant mesothelioma (MM) is unique to occupational and environmental asbestos exposure.
Environmental asbestos exposure was examined in relation to asbestos use and manufacturing, the quantity of the asbestos-containing products still in use, the concentrations of asbestos fibres in the air and the number of MM cases diagnosed each year per county.
The correlation coefficient of the measurements of the asbestos fibre concentrations in the air and the quantity of asbestos-cement products in use is high and amounts to 0.68. Meanwhile, the correlation coefficient of the measurements of asbestos fibre concentrations in air and MM morbidity rate resulting from environmental exposure calculated for particular counties in provinces is low and amounts to 0.37. The highest MM morbidity rate was observed for Małopolskie and Śląskie, a typical industrial area of Poland.
There are MM cases which are still attributable to occupational asbestos exposure, although MM cases resulting from environmental exposure to asbestos have an increased MM risk. Poland is among those countries with a low MM incidence rate, which seems to be an underestimation of environmental asbestos exposure. As long as asbestos-cement products are used in the environment, actions should be undertaken to protect public health.