Asbestosis in Long-Term Employees of an Ontario Asbestos-Cement Factory1,2
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We studied the development of compensable (certified) asbestosis among the 201 workers at an asbestos-cement factory who were first exposed to asbestos dust prior to 1980 and who had been employed at least 15 yr. By July 1980, 39% of the production workers and 20% of the maintenance workers had developed a compensable chest disability; the "latent interval" generally exceeded 20 yr. Workers with asbestosis were found to have markedly elevated mortality rates with deaths caused by malignancies and respiratory disease being primarily responsible. We combined the limited air sampling data available with individual work histories to calculate 18-yr cumulative fiber exposures. The cumulative probability of certification was related to the cumulative exposures and the exposure-response relationship was found to be sigmoidal in form.
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