The aim of the study was to determine the pulmonary concentrations of mineral fibers in the Finnish male urban population and to evaluate the analysis of pulmonary fiber burden by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) as an indicator of past fiber exposure.
The pulmonary concentration of mineral fibers was determined by SEM and compared with occupational history for a series of 300 autopsies of urban men aged 33 to 69 years.
The concentration of fibers (f) longer than 1 micron ranged from
An investigation into the problem of the frequency and hazards of lung biopsy in asbestos workers was performed in two ways. The first study was into the frequency of lung biopsy among 2907 long term asbestos insulation workers in 1981-3 and the second was into the frequency of fatal complications of lung biopsy in 168 deaths from asbestosis among 2271 consecutive deaths of asbestos insulation workers 1967-76. Only 25 (0.9%) of the 2907 asbestos insulation workers reported having had either an open lung biopsy, a needle biopsy, or a transbronchial biopsy. Seven (24%) of these men suffered difficulties as a result of the biopsy. Lung biopsies had been performed on 14 of the 168 workers who died of asbestosis. Three (21%) of these 14 patients had died within 30 days of biopsy as a direct result of the procedure. In most cases there is no need for lung biopsy to establish a diagnosis of asbestosis; generally, it may be defined by history of exposure, clinical and radiological findings, and other well established non-invasive diagnostic procedures. Certainly, legal and compensation recommendation for biopsy should be considered with the possibility of death in mind. If biopsy is performed precautions should be taken, including adequate observation in hospital.
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Prior surveys of malignant mesothelioma in Québec have noted that almost all the excess in occupational exposure related mesothelioma was in the manufacture and industrial application of asbestos rather than in the mining and milling operations. To evaluate the current status of malignant pleural mesothelioma in the Québec workforce, we reviewed all cases of pleural mesothelioma seen and accepted by the Québec Workman's Compensation Board (CSST) for work related compensation of industrial disease. We identified 120 cases, 7 of whom were females. They were of an average age of 59 +/- 8.5 yrs (sd) (range 42-84); they were exposed to asbestos dust in the workplace for an average of 26 +/- 14.3 yrs (range 0.5-50). The cases were subdivided into 3 groups according to workplace asbestos exposures. There were 49 cases originating in the mines and mills of the Québec Eastern Township region (primary industry, group 1), 50 cases from the manufacture and industrial application sector (secondary industry, group 2), and 21 cases from industries where asbestos was not a major work material, often an "incidental" material (tertiary industry, group 3). Group 1 was of an average age of 62 +/- 8 years, exposed to asbestos dust 31 +/- 14 years and the distribution of exposure time was as follows: 15% cases with or = 25 year-exposure. In group 2, the age was significantly lower at 57 +/- 9 years; the exposure time was also significantly lower at 22 +/- 14 years, and the distribution of exposure time differed from the above (29% cases with or = 25 year-exposure). In group 3, the average age was 58 +/- 7 years, the exposure time was also significantly lower at 28 +/- 12 years and the distribution of exposure time differed from the above (33% cases with or = 25 year-exposure). Analyses of the yearly incidence of new cases in each group documented the general incremental trend in all groups, with the sharpest rises in group 3. In the mining towns of Thetford and Asbestos, the incidence of mesothelioma was proportional to the workforce, thus suggesting that the tremolite air contamination, which is 7.5 x higher in Thetford, may not be a significant determinant of the disease in these workers.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)
Comment In: Am J Ind Med. 1993 Aug;24(2):245-88213852