Resources for Patients and their Families

Mesothelioma and lung tumors attributable to asbestos among petroleum workers

Am J Ind Med 2000 Mar;37(3):275-82
Gennaro V, Finkelstein MM, Ceppi M, Fontana V, Montanaro F, Perrotta A, Puntoni R, Silvano S
Environmental Epidemiology and Biostatistics, National Cancer Institute, Genoa, Italy.

BACKGROUND: asbestos exposure has been definitively found to be associated with both mesothelioma and lung cancer. Nevertheless, in the overall population of oil refinery workers potentially exposed to asbestos, many studies clearly show a definite increase in mesothelioma risk factors, but no proven excess of lung cancer after comparison to the general population. Through the presentation of new data and the re-appraisal of two recent and independent epidemiological studies conducted in Liguria, Italy, and Ontario, Canada, we attempt to shed light on this apparently paradoxical finding.

METHODS: Lung cancer mortality was studied among maintenance workers exposed to asbestos, and among two other subgroups of refinery employees: blue collar and white collar workers. The comparison with blue collar workers was performed in order to take into account the role of healthy worker effect, smoking habit, and the socioeconomic level. The comparison with white collar workers was performed to control for other occupational lung carcinogens.

RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: Results reveal a consistency between the two studies and show that 96-100% of the mesothelioma cancer and 42-49% of the lung tumors arising among maintenance workers were attributable to asbestos exposure. Our new analysis, estimating two cases of asbestos-related lung cancer for each case of mesothelioma, confirms published findings on the magnitude of asbestos cancer in oil refineries. Copyright 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Author: Linda Molinari

Editor in Chief, Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance

Linda Molinari

Reviewer: Annette Charlevois

Patient Support Coordinator

Annette Charlevois

PMID: 10642417, UI: 20108485
Click here to order or save article

Mesothelioma Treatment Guide

Free Mesothelioma Treatment Guide

Please fill in the form below to request our FREE Mesothelioma Treatment Guide. It will be sent to you within 24 hours.

Have you or someone you know been diagnosed with mesothelioma?

Get Access To: