Malignant mesothelioma due to environmental exposure to asbestos: follow-up of a Turkish cohort living in a rural area

Chest. 2002 Dec;122(6):2224-9. doi: 10.1378/chest.122.6.2224.


Study objectives: This study examines the incidence of malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) in a rural population of Turkey with environmental exposure to asbestos-contaminated soil mixtures (white soil).

Design: A field-based epidemiologic study.

Setting and subjects: A cohort of villagers (the "Eskisehir" cohort) from 11 villages around Eskisehir in central Anatolia, who had been environmentally exposed to asbestos due to the use of white soil.

Measurements: The mineral content and asbestos contamination of the white soil used in these villages was determined, as well as airborne fiber concentrations. Cohort members' details of age, sex, ambient exposure data, duration of residence in the villages, and hospital records, including pathologic diagnosis, were recorded.

Results: The Eskisehir cohort consisted of 1,886 villagers. During the observation time, 377 deaths occurred and 24 MPM cases were diagnosed. Average annual mesothelioma incidence rates were 114.8/100,000 for men and 159.8/100,000 for women.

Conclusions: These data indicate that the risk of mesothelioma is 88.3 times greater in men and 799 times greater in women, respectively, in comparison to world background incidence rates.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Asbestos / poisoning*
  • Environmental Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mesothelioma / chemically induced
  • Mesothelioma / epidemiology*
  • Mesothelioma / mortality
  • Middle Aged
  • Pleural Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Pleural Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Rural Population
  • Soil Pollutants / adverse effects*
  • Turkey / epidemiology


  • Soil Pollutants
  • Asbestos