Risk of Lung Cancer Associated With Occupational Exposure to Mineral Wools: Updating Knowledge From a French Population-Based Case–Control Study, the ICARE Study

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Abstract

Objectives:

To assess the risk of lung cancer associated with exposure to mineral wools (MWs), while taking into account smoking, asbestos, and crystalline silica exposures.

Methods:

The analyses were restricted to men (1350 cases and 1912 controls). Lifelong occupational history was collected. MWs and asbestos exposures were assessed, using task-exposure matrices and silica exposure, a job-exposure matrix.

Results:

We observed consistent not-significant increased risks of lung cancer of the same order of magnitude among workers exposed to high levels of MWs (odds ratio, 1.4; 95% confidence interval: 0.9 to 2.2; for highest quartile of the Cumulative Exposure Index).

Conclusions:

These results do not allow to draw firm conclusion about a carcinogenic effect of MWs on the lung, but they cannot exclude it. Given the high number of potentially exposed workers, it will be necessary to replicate them in a future further removed from the asbestos ban.

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