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Cause-Specific Mortality in Relation to Chrysotile-Asbestos Exposure in Chinese Cohort

The dangers of chrysotile asbestos continues to remain a contentious topic, especially among defendants who argue that chrysotile is a “safe” fiber. Chrysotile represents 95% of all asbestos ever used and is currently the only type of asbestos commercially being used in the world. Its uses include textile products, friction and heat resistant materials, cement and rubber products.

China happens to be one of the biggest consumers of asbestos and have consequently experienced an alarming rate of asbestos-related disease and asbestos-related death among exposed workers. In this study, scientists evaluated a group of 577 workers from a chrysotile-textile plant in China from between 1972 to 2008. Their analysis indicated that exposure to chrysotile asbestos was closely associated with excess mortality from cancer and respiratory diseases compared to an occupational control group and the Chinese national level.

Furthermore, the study found that increased mortality was associated with the amount of chrysotile exposure, number of exposure years, age at first exposure year and other variables, such as smoking history and birth year. In summary, chrysotile asbestos continues to be highly carcinogenic to humans as illustrated by the study's cohort's increased mortality from lung cancers and nonmalignant respiratory diseases which resulted exclusively from chrysotile asbestos exposure. Click here to view this study.