Cancer Incidence in Asbestos-Exposed Workers: An Update on Four Finnish Cohorts

Published on Jun 1, 2017in Safety and health at work1.431
· DOI :10.1016/
Pia Nynäs1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Finnish Institute of Occupational Health),
Eero Pukkala92
Estimated H-index: 92
(RMIT: RMIT University)
+ 1 AuthorsPanu Oksa1
Estimated H-index: 1
(RMIT: RMIT University)
Abstract Background We assessed the cancer risks of four different Finnish asbestos-exposed cohorts. We also explored if the cohorts with varying profiles of asbestos exposure exhibited varying relative risks of cancer. Methods The incident cancer cases for the asbestos-exposed worker cohorts were updated to the end of 2012 using the files of the Finnish Cancer Registry. The previously formed cohorts consisted of asbestos mine workers, asbestosis patients, asbestos sprayers, and workers who had taken part in a screening study based on asbestos exposure at work. Results The standardized incidence ratio (SIR) for mesothelioma varied from about threefold to > 100-fold in the different cohorts. In the screening cohort the SIR for mesothelioma was highest in 2003–2007, In other cohorts it was more constant in 5-year period inspection. The SIR for lung cancer was about twofold to tenfold in all except the screening cohort. Asbestos sprayers were at the highest risk of mesothelioma and lung cancer. Conclusion The SIR for mesothelioma is high in all of the cohorts that represent different kinds of asbestos exposure. The smaller SIR for mesothelioma in the screening cohort with lowest level of asbestos exposure might suggest dose-responsiveness between asbestos exposure and mesothelioma. It does seem that the highest risk of lung cancer in these cohorts except in the youngest of the cohorts, the screening cohort, is over. The highest SIR for lung cancer of the asbestosis patient and sprayers cohort is explained by their heavy asbestos exposure.
  • References (12)
  • Citations (6)
#1Henrik Wolff (Finnish Institute of Occupational Health)H-Index: 31
#2Tapio Vehmas (Finnish Institute of Occupational Health)H-Index: 30
Last. Harri Vainio (Finnish Institute of Occupational Health)H-Index: 61
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IntroductionAlthough the use of asbestos has been banned in several industrialized countries, many workers continue to be exposed in asbestos repair and removal work, and asbestos is still widely used in various newly industrialized, rapidly developing countries. According to the most recent World Health Organization (WHO) estimates, more than 107 000 people die each year from asbestos-related lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis resulting from exposure at work (1). The asbestos epidemic is...
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#2Celine Gramond (French Institute of Health and Medical Research)H-Index: 3
Last. Patrick Brochard (French Institute of Health and Medical Research)H-Index: 35
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#1Bengt Järvholm (Umeå University)H-Index: 45
#2h.c. Anders Englund Md (Umeå University)H-Index: 1
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Objectives Cancer risk has been estimated for asbestos production workers or other heavily exposed asbestos workers in numerous studies. The bulk of the asbestos epidemic results come, however, from past intermittent exposures during asbestos product use. This study concentrated on estimating the risk of cancer in such a population. Methods Altogether 23 285 men and 930 women invited to a nationwide screening campaign for benign asbestos-related diseases in 1990-1992 were followed for cancer thr...
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#1Panu OksaH-Index: 18
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Cohorts of Finnish asbestos sprayers and of asbestosis and silicosis patients were followed for cancer with the aid of the Finnish Cancer Registry in the period 1967–1994. Compared with the cancer incidence of the total Finnish population, asbestos sprayers had an increased risk for total cancer (standardized incidence ratio [SIR] 6.7, 95% confidence interval [95% CI] 4.2–10); lung cancer (SIR 17, 95% CI 8.2–31); and mesothelioma (SIR 263, 95% CI 85–614). The SIR of the asbestosis patients was 3...
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