Mortality of workers at two asbestos-cement plants in Poland

Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2000;13(2):121-30.


To assess mortality rate among workers occupationally exposed to asbestos, cohort studies were carried out in two asbestos cement plants operating since the 1960s. Asbestos cement sheets for roofing and siding have been manufactured there, using mostly chrisotile, and since 1985 also crocidolite for pressure pipes. In all, the cohort comprised 3,220 workers, including 2,616 male workers. Subject to consideration were the workers employed for at least three months in the period between the onset of the production and 1980. The vital status of the subjects was traced up to 31 December 1991. The availability of the cohort was 96.8%. Workers' mortality was analysed using standardized mortality ratio (SMR). The reference group was the general population of Poland. In the male cohort, 385 cases of death were recorded. Statistically significant excess of mortality from large intestine cancer (7 cases, SMR = 264) and pleural mesothelioma (5 cases, SMR = 2846) was found. In male workers who died from pleural mesothelioma the work history ranged from 12 to 26 years. An excess mortality from pleural mesothelioma was also noted among the female workers (2 cases, SMR = 11,275). No malignant neoplasms of other locations produced significant excess mortality either in the male or female workers.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Asbestos / adverse effects*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mesothelioma / etiology
  • Mesothelioma / mortality
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / etiology
  • Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Occupational Diseases / etiology
  • Occupational Diseases / mortality*
  • Pleural Neoplasms / etiology
  • Pleural Neoplasms / mortality
  • Poland / epidemiology
  • Sex Distribution


  • Asbestos