Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine 2015 December 21 [Epub ahead of print] [Link]

Abakay A, Tanrikulu AC, Ayhan M, Imamoglu MS, Taylan M, Kaplan MA, Abakay O.



Very few studies have investigated the incidence and risk of malignant mesothelioma (MM) associated with distinct sources of asbestos exposure, especially exposure to naturally occurring asbestos (NOA).


Subjects were MM, lung, and breast cancer patients who were diagnosed and followed in Diyarbakir Province between 2008 and 2013. The birthplaces of patients were displayed on a geologic map. Geological and meteorological effects on MM were analyzed by logistic regression.


A total of 180 MM, 368 breast, and 406 lung cancer patients were included. The median distance from birthplace to ophiolites was 6.26 km for MM, 31.06 km for lung, and 34.31 km for breast cancer (p < 0.001). The majority of MM cases were seen within 20 km from NOA areas. The MM incidence inside of NOA was 1059/100.000, and out of NOA was 397/100.000; this difference was significant (p = 0.014). The largest concentration of MM residential areas was within ±30° (34 residential areas 36.6 %) of the dominant wind direction. Most MM patients were found in or near the dominant wind direction, especially in the acute angle defined by the dominant wind direction. MM incidence was directly proportional to {[area of NOA (km2)] * [cosine α of wind direction angle]} and was inversely proportional to the square of the distance (R = 0.291, p = 0.023).


MM was higher near NOA and in the downwind direction. MM incidence and risk were affected by geological and meteorological factors.