Mortality experience of amosite asbestos factory workers: dose-response relationships 5 to 40 years after onset of short-term work exposure

Am J Ind Med. 1986;10(5-6):479-514. doi: 10.1002/ajim.4700100506.


A cohort of 820 men in a Paterson, New Jersey, amosite asbestos factory which began work during 1941-1945 was observed from 5 to 40 years after start of work. Most of the cohort had limited duration of work experience (days, weeks, months), though some men worked for several years until the factory closed in 1954. With white males of New Jersey as the control population, Standardized Mortality Ratios (SMRs) of 500 are evident for the cohort for lung cancer and for noninfectious pulmonary diseases (including asbestosis), while being almost 300 for total cancer and about 170 for all causes of death. A statistically significant SMR of almost 200 is seen for colon-rectum cancer. Mesothelioma incidence initially shows a strong relationship with advancing time since onset of exposure and then tails off. The main concern of the study is with dose-response patterns. Response is measured by the mortality for relevant causes of death, while the direct asbestos dosage was measured in two ways. One way was the length of time worked in the factory and the other was the individual's accumulated fiber exposure, calculated by multiplying the aforementioned length of time worked by the estimated fiber exposures associated with the particular job that the worker had in the factory. Whichever measure of dosage is used, it was found that, in general, the lower the dose, the longer it took for adverse mortality to become evident and, also, the smaller the magnitude of that adverse mortality.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Asbestos / adverse effects*
  • Asbestos, Amosite
  • Colonic Neoplasms / etiology
  • Colonic Neoplasms / mortality
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases / etiology
  • Lung Diseases / mortality
  • Lung Neoplasms / etiology
  • Lung Neoplasms / mortality
  • Male
  • Mesothelioma / etiology
  • Mesothelioma / mortality
  • Middle Aged
  • New Jersey
  • Occupational Diseases / etiology
  • Occupational Diseases / mortality*
  • Rectal Neoplasms / etiology
  • Rectal Neoplasms / mortality
  • Risk
  • Time Factors


  • Asbestos, Amosite
  • Asbestos