Mortality of chrysotile asbestos workers at the Balangero Mine, Northern Italy

Br J Ind Med. 1979 Aug;36(3):187-94. doi: 10.1136/oem.36.3.187.


The mortality from 1946 to 1975 of over 900 North Italian chrysotile asbestos workers first employed between 1930 and 1965 has been studied. Nine deaths were certified as attributable to asbestosis, and eleven to lung cancer. One death was attributed to mesothelioma of pleura but this diagnosis was not supported by histological examination. Comparison with the national figures for all Italy did not reveal an excess of deaths from lung cancer but during the last quinquennium of observation, the SMR for lung cancer rose to 206. Simulation experiments enabled a dust index in fibre/years to be attached to each man in the cohort. All but two of the deaths from lung cancer occurred in the higher exposure group. The relative risk of lung cancer in this group was 2.89. The eleven workers who died from lung cancer were all cigarette smokers. A further period of observation is required to monitor the mortality of the surviving workers.

MeSH terms

  • Asbestos / adverse effects*
  • Asbestosis / mortality
  • Humans
  • Italy
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms / mortality
  • Lung Neoplasms / mortality
  • Male
  • Mining*
  • Occupational Diseases / etiology
  • Occupational Diseases / mortality*
  • Smoking / complications


  • Asbestos