A study of the mortality of workers in an asbestos factory

Br J Ind Med. 1969 Oct;26(4):294-301. doi: 10.1136/oem.26.4.294.


Newhouse, M. L. (1969).Brit. J. industr. Med.,26, 294-301. A study of the mortality of workers in an asbestos factory. A cohort study of over 4,500 male workers employed at an asbestos factory making both textiles and insulation materials is described. The main analysis of the mortality of workers employed between April 1, 1933, the date of the implementation of the Asbestos Regulations, and May 1, 1964. The analysis was made in relation to job, length of exposure, and length of follow-up after first exposure. There was no significant difference between the number of deaths occurring in the factory population and the national figures, until an interval of 16 years or longer had elapsed from first exposure in the factory. There were 1,160 men who fulfilled this criterion. In this group there was no excess mortality among those who worked in jobs where exposure was low or moderate, but among those with jobs which entailed heavy exposure there was a significant excess of deaths from cancer of the lung and pleura, and cancer of other sites, in men with a total period of employment in the factory of less than two years, as well as with those who worked for longer. Excess mortality from respiratory disease was observed only among severely exposed workers with long service.

MeSH terms

  • Asbestosis / mortality*
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / mortality
  • Male
  • Occupational Diseases / mortality*
  • Pleural Neoplasms / mortality
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / mortality
  • Time Factors