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Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/01.jom.0000243357.70143.47
Original Articles

Lung Cancer Mortality and Occupational Exposure to Asbestos Among Telephone Linemen: A Historical Cohort Study in France

Meguellati-Hakkas, Djamila MS; Cyr, Diane MS; Stücker, Isabelle PhD; Févotte, Joëlle MS; Pilorget, Corinne PhD; Luce, Danièle PhD; Guénel, Pascal MD, PhD

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Abstract

Objective: The authors studied the mortality by lung cancer in telephone linemen exposed to asbestos at low levels during installation of telephone cables.

Methods: Three hundred eight lung cancers deaths were identified in the cohort. Exposure to asbestos and to other occupational carcinogens was assessed using a job-exposure matrix.

Results: The relative risk for lung cancer death associated with an estimated exposure of approximately 2 f/cc-years was 2.1 (95% confidence interval = 1.1–4.0) as compared with workers exposed to less than 0.5 f/cc-years. Mean annual exposure or exposure duration were not clearly related to lung cancer. Adjustment for other occupational lung carcinogens did not change this finding.

Conclusion: The observed mortality by lung cancer associated with asbestos exposure at low levels is higher than the prediction based on linear downward extrapolations from highly exposed occupational cohorts.

©2006The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

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