A retrospective cohort study of cancer mortality in employees of a Russian chrysotile asbestos mine and mills: study rationale and key features

Cancer Epidemiol. 2013 Aug;37(4):440-5. doi: 10.1016/j.canep.2013.03.001. Epub 2013 Apr 20.


Chrysotile, a serpentine asbestos fibre, is the only type of asbestos produced and consumed in the world today. It is an established human carcinogen. We have begun fieldwork on a retrospective cohort study of employees of one of the world's largest chrysotile mine and mills, situated in Asbest, Russia. The primary aim of the study is to better characterize and quantify the risk of cancer mortality in terms of (i) the dose-response relationship of exposure with risk; (ii) the range of cancer sites affected, including female-specific cancers; and (iii) effects of duration of exposure and latency periods. This information will expand our understanding of the scale of the impending cancer burden due to chrysotile, including if chrysotile use ceased worldwide forthwith. Herein we describe the scientific rationale for conducting this study and the main features of its study design.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Asbestos, Serpentine / adverse effects*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Epidemiologic Research Design
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mining
  • Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Neoplasms / mortality
  • Occupational Diseases / chemically induced
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Occupational Diseases / pathology
  • Occupational Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Russia / epidemiology


  • Asbestos, Serpentine