Scand J Work Environ Health 1997;23(2):93-103    pdf | Issue date: Apr 1997

Asbestos, asbestosis, pleural plaques and lung cancer

by Hillerdal G, Henderson DW

Inhalation of asbestos fibers increases the risk of bronchial carcinoma. It has been claimed that asbestosis is a necessary prerequisite for the malignancy, but epidemiologic studies usually do not have enough statistical strength to prove that asbestos-exposed patients without asbestosis are without risk. Several recent studies do actually indicate that there is a risk for such patients. In addition, case-referent studies of patients with lung cancer show an attributable risk for asbestos of 6% to 23%, which is much higher than the actual occurrence of asbestosis among these patients. Thus there is an increasing body of evidence that, at low exposure levels, asbestos produces a slight increase in the relative risk of lung cancer even in the absence of asbestosis. Consequently, all exposure to asbestos must be minimized.

The following articles refer to this text: 2004;30(3):206-214; 2024;50(2):53-60