Mortality patterns among female and male chrysotile asbestos textile workers

J Occup Med. 1994 Aug;36(8):882-8.


This study updates a retrospective cohort mortality analysis of workers from a South Carolina textile plant where chrysotile asbestos was the primary exposure. The update adds 15 years of observation to the original study, adds analyses of white women and black men, and allows comparison of mortality risks between race/gender groups. The total cohort includes 3,022 workers: 1,229 white women (363 deaths), 1,247 white men (607 deaths), and 546 black men (289 deaths). Statistically significant risks for lung cancer were observed among white women (standardized mortality ratio [SMR] = 2.07; 90% confidence interval [CI] = 1.55-2.71) and white men (SMR = 2.24; 90% CI = 1.83-2.72); both of these groups exhibited positive exposure-response trends. Although the lung cancer risk among black men was lower than expected (SMR = 0.70; 90% CI = 0.42-1.08), a statistically significant increase was observed at high levels of exposure. Statistically significant excess risk for pneumoconiosis and other respiratory diseases were observed for all race/gender groups. Despite the relatively high percentage of white women lost to follow-up and missing death certificates, both of which allow underestimation of the true relative risk, statistically significant excess risks were observed for lung cancer and pneumoconiosis among this group.

MeSH terms

  • African Continental Ancestry Group
  • Asbestos, Serpentine / adverse effects*
  • Cause of Death
  • Cohort Studies
  • European Continental Ancestry Group
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Lung Neoplasms / mortality
  • Male
  • Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Neoplasms / mortality
  • Occupational Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Occupational Diseases / mortality*
  • Pneumoconiosis / mortality
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk
  • South Carolina / epidemiology
  • Textile Industry*
  • Women, Working


  • Asbestos, Serpentine