Medical surveillance of workers previously exposed to asbestos

Med Lav. May-Jun 2006;97(3):475-81.


According to current Italian law health surveillance of workers exposed to asbestos in the past must be maintained even after cessation of asbestos exposure (D.Lgs. 277/91). The law, however, makes no reference to timescales or time limits for clinical monitoring, nor to who is responsible. The main aims of health surveillance of individuals formerly exposed to asbestos can be summarized as follows: early diagnosis of the principal diseases associated with asbestos; counselling for workers; work-related disease certification; epidemiological studies. Medical check-ups entail a complete personal and work history, Chest X-Ray, respiratory function tests, TLCO. In all cases the worker must undergo a LDCT. We propose two new possible biological markers for the health surveillance of past-exposed patients: serum mesothelin and osteopontin.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Asbestos / adverse effects*
  • Asbestosis / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Occupational Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Population Surveillance*


  • Asbestos