Risk of lung cancer associated with occupational exposure to mineral wools: updating knowledge from a french population-based case-control study, the ICARE study

J Occup Environ Med. 2013 Jul;55(7):786-95. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e318289ee8b.


Objectives: To assess the risk of lung cancer associated with exposure to mineral wools (MWs), while taking into account smoking, asbestos, and crystalline silica exposures.

Methods: The analyses were restricted to men (1350 cases and 1912 controls). Lifelong occupational history was collected. MWs and asbestos exposures were assessed, using task-exposure matrices and silica exposure, a job-exposure matrix.

Results: We observed consistent not-significant increased risks of lung cancer of the same order of magnitude among workers exposed to high levels of MWs (odds ratio, 1.4; 95% confidence interval: 0.9 to 2.2; for highest quartile of the Cumulative Exposure Index).

Conclusions: These results do not allow to draw firm conclusion about a carcinogenic effect of MWs on the lung, but they cannot exclude it. Given the high number of potentially exposed workers, it will be necessary to replicate them in a future further removed from the asbestos ban.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Air Pollutants, Occupational / adverse effects*
  • Asbestos / adverse effects
  • Calcium Compounds / adverse effects*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • France
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Lung Neoplasms / chemically induced*
  • Lung Neoplasms / etiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Occupational Diseases / etiology
  • Occupational Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Occupational Exposure / statistics & numerical data
  • Risk Factors
  • Silicates / adverse effects*
  • Silicon Dioxide / adverse effects
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult


  • Air Pollutants, Occupational
  • Calcium Compounds
  • Silicates
  • Asbestos
  • Silicon Dioxide
  • calcium silicate