Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 1986;12 suppl 1:34-47    pdf

The man-made mineral fiber European historical cohort study. Extension of the follow-up.

by Simonato L, Fletcher AC, Cherrie J, Andersen A, Bertazzi PA, Charnay N, Claude J, Dodgson J, Esteve J, Frentzel-Beyme R, Gardner MJ, Jensen OM, Olsen JH, Saracci R, Teppo L, Winkelmann R, Westerholm P, Winter PD, Zocchetti C

The study concentrated on 21,967 workers producing rock wool/slag wool, glass wool or continuous filament in 13 European factories. The expected deaths and incident cancer cases were derived from multiplying the accumulated person-years by national reference rates across sex, age, and calendar-year strata, correction factors for regional lung cancer mortality also being used. Exposure assessment was based on the results of a historical environmental investigation reported elsewhere. There were 189 deaths (151.2 expected), and for rock-wool/slag-wool and glass-wool workers the standardized mortality ratios for lung cancer showed a pattern of increasing mortality with time since first exposure but not duration of employment. There was an excess of lung cancer among rock-wool/slag-wool workers employed during an early technological phase before the introduction of dust-suppressing agents, and fiber exposure, either alone on in combination with other exposures, may have contributed to the elevated risk. No excess of the same magnitude was evident for glass-wool production, and the follow-up of the continuous filament cohort was too short to allow for an evaluation of possible long-term effects. There was no evidence of an increased risk for pleural tumors or nonmalignant respiratory diseases.

See 1987;13(2):192 for a correction.