Revue des Maladies Respiratoires. 2008 Feb;25(2):193-207. [Link]

Pairon JC, Andujar P, Matrat M, Ameille J.

Inserm, Unité 841, Créteil, France.


Lung cancer and pleural mesothelioma are the most common occupational cancers. Recent epidemiological studies have estimated that the fraction attributable to occupational factors varies from 13 to 29% for lung cancer in men and is about 85% for pleural mesothelioma in men. Previous occupational exposure to asbestos is the most common occupational exposure in these cancers. Mesothelioma immediately leads the clinician to look for past asbestos exposure. In contrast, the search for an occupational exposure that should be routine in all cases of lung cancer, is generally more difficult because of the number of occupational aetiological factors and the absence of criteria that allow distinction of an occupational cancer from a tobacco related one. Therefore attention should be paid to the identification of occupational exposure in order to set up primary prevention programmes to prevent exposure still present in the working environment and, on the other hand, to identify the subjects entitled to the acknowledgement of occupational disease and/or to obtain the compensation available to asbestos victims.