Occupational exposure to asbestos and man-made vitreous fibers, and risk of lung cancer: evidence from two case-control studies in Montreal, Canada

J Occup Environ Med. 2008 Nov;50(11):1273-81. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31818345bb.


Objective: To examine the effects of occupational asbestos and man-made vitreous fibers (MMVF) on the risk of lung cancer in two population-based case-control studies entailing exposure at lower levels than in historic cohort studies.

Methodology: Study I (1979 to 1986) comprised 857 cases and 1066 population and cancer controls. Study II (1996 to 2001) comprised 858 cases and 1295 population controls. A detailed job history was obtained to evaluate lifetime occupational exposure to 294 agents, including asbestos and MMVF.

Results: We found increased risks for substantial exposure to asbestos (odds ratio = 1.78; 95% confidence interval: 0.94 to 3.36). The corresponding odds ratio for substantial exposure to MMVF was 1.10 (95% confidence interval: 0.37 to 3.22).

Discussion: Low and moderate levels of exposure to asbestos, as encountered in this population, were associated with some excess risk of lung cancer. Results for MMVF were inconclusive.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Asbestos / adverse effects*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Logistic Models
  • Lung Neoplasms / chemically induced*
  • Lung Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mineral Fibers / adverse effects*
  • Occupational Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Occupational Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Occupations / classification
  • Quebec / epidemiology
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Smoking / epidemiology


  • Mineral Fibers
  • Asbestos