Malignant pleural cancers mortality and compensated cases for asbestos related diseases in Lazio municipalities (1980-2001)

La Medicina del Lavoro. 2007 Jan-Feb;98(1):30-8. [Link]

Scarselli A, Binazzi A, Altavista P, Mastrantonio M, Uccelli R, Marinaccio A.

Istituto Superiore per la Prevenzione e la Sicurezza del Lavoro (ISPESL), Dipartimento di Medicina del Lavoro, Laboratorio di Epidemiologia Occupazionale, Roma.


Background: Occupational exposure to asbestos has been widely reported in the Region, but a high risk for non-occupational and environmental contaminations have also been documented.

Objectives: To describe the geographical distribution ofpleural cancer deaths and compensated asbestosis cases from 1980 to 2001 in the Lazio Region.

Methods: For each municipality Standardized Mortality Ratios (SMRs) for pleural cancer and Standardized Incidence Ratios (SIRs) for asbestosis were estimated. Expected cases were estimated from age and gender specific rates in Lazio. SatScan software was used to identify clusters and to verf;j their statistical significance.

Results: 789 deaths from pleural cancer (495 males and 294 females) occurred in Lazio from 1980 to 2001. The standardized mortality rate per 100.000 inhabitants is 0,74 (0,95 for males and 0,54 for females). The main excess mortality from pleural cancer occurred in the municipalities of Civitavecchia (SMR: 269,9; 95% CI: 164,9 – 416,8), Colleferro (SMR: 304,9; 95% CI: 139,4-578,8) and Rocca Priora (SMR: 379,2; 95% CI: 103,3-970,9). Significant SIRs for compensated asbestosis cases were found in the industrial areas of the Naples-Rome highway and in the shipyard area of Civitavecchia. Nofemale compensated cases were found. The most important clusters were identified in the municipality of Civitavecchia for pleural cancer (p-value = 0,117) and in the Colleferro industrial area for compensated asbestosis cases (p-value = 0,001).

Conclusions: Epidemiological surveillance of incident cases of malignant mesothelioma in the Lazio Region and the investigation of modalities of asbestos exposure are urgently needed for prevention of occupational diseases.