Updating lung cancer mortality among a cohort of man-made mineral fibre production workers in seven European countries

L. Simonato, A. C. Fletcher, J. Cherrie, A. Andersen, P. A. Bertazzi, N. Charney, J. Claude, J. Dodgson, J. Esteve, R. Frentzel-Beyme, M. J. Gardner, O. Jensen, J. Olsen, R. Saracci, L. Teppo, P. Westerholm, R. Winkelmann, P. D. Winter, C. Zocchetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A historical cohort of 21,967 workers ever employed in 13 European factories manufacturing various types of man-made mineral fibres (MMMF) was observed until 1982. Overall there were 2719 deaths (standardised mortality ratio (SMR) = 111) of which 189 were from lung cancer (SMR = 125). For the glasswool and rockwool/slagwool production subcohorts the lung cancer SMRs rose with time since first exposure, exceeding 170 for the period of 30 or more years. Adjustment for regional variations in mortality substantially reduced the excess in the glasswool group, but not in the rockwool/slagwool. In neither subgroup was there any relationship of lung cancer mortality with length of employment. During the early years of rockwool/slagwool production there was the potential for much higher fibrous dust exposure than at present, because of the absence of dust suppressing oil and/or the use of a batch production process. In addition slag was widely used as a raw material. Amongst workers employed during the early phase, there were 10 lung cancer deaths giving SMRs of 270 and 244 for the periods 20-29 and 30 or more years since first exposure. This group accounts for most of the absolute excess of lung cancer for the rockwool/slagwool plants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-200
Number of pages12
JournalCancer Letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Molecular Biology
  • Oncology


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