Environmental Exposure to Asbestos in Eastern Turkey

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ABSTRACT.In this study, the authors investigated the prevalence of asbestos-related disorders among the inhabitants of Güzelyurt, a town in Malatya, located in eastern Turkey. The authors examined river bed, white soil, and stucco samples taken from various locales in Güzelyurt, and they confirmed the presence of tremolite and chrysotile asbestos fibers. Subjects (N = 920; 449 males and 471 females) were examined by photofluoroscopy. Eighty-five patients (9.2%) had asbestos-related radiological findings; risk increased with age. Calcified pleural plaques were seen more frequently in individuals ≥ 50 yr of age, compared with younger subjects (p < 0.01). Asbestos-related disorders were prevalent in the inhabitants of Güzelyurt, the population of which is exposed environmentally to asbestos-primarily the result of the stuccoing and whitewashing of houses with soil that contains asbestos.

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