Asbestos Fiber Concentrations in the Lungs of Brake Repair Workers: An Updated Analysis Using Several Regression Methods to Handle Nondetectable Measurements

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Abstract

Objectives:

The aim of the study was to reanalyze an updated database of lung asbestos fiber levels for 21 brake repair workers who died of mesothelioma using robust maximum likelihood-based regression methods to address nondetectable measurements.

Methods:

We applied bivariate normal regression to address the doubly left-censored situation where both the lung fiber concentration of noncommercial (TAA) and commercial amphiboles (AC) were subject to detection limits. For the single left-censored situation, we applied censored normal regression to study the relationship between duration of employment (DOE) and TAA.

Results:

We found a statistically significant positive relationship between TAA and AC (β = 0.49, 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.11 to 0.86) and a not statistically significant relationship between DOE and TAA (β = 0.02, 95% CI, −0.03 to 0.06).

Conclusions:

Our results provide additional support for the conclusion that exposure to commercial amphibole asbestos, and not chrysotile, is related to the occurrence of mesothelioma among some brake workers.

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