Review

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

doi:10.5271/sjweh.186

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 article refers to this text: 2004;30(3):206-214