[Pleural mesothelioma in women is associated with environmental exposure to asbestos].Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 2004 Aug 28; 148(35):1727-31.NT
To determine whether local environmental exposure to asbestos in the community of Hof van Twente, The Netherlands (which houses a large asbestos cement facility and has a serious environmental asbestos pollution problem), is accompanied by an increased mortality due to pleural mesothelioma among women.
A descriptive, ecologic-epidemiological study.
Twenty-nine women with a verified diagnosis of pleural mesothelioma were selected from 810 requests for compensation submitted to a specialised lawyers' office in the period 1990-2002. Information on asbestos exposure from occupational, household, environmental or unknown sources was obtained. The place of residence was compared to information on sources of asbestos in the immediate environment derived from the settlement 'Asbestos removal in the environment'. The expected number of cases of pleural mesothelioma among women was estimated on the basis of the observed mortality in The Netherlands in the period 1996-2002. A standardised mortality ratio (SMR) was calculated as the ratio of observed cases divided by the number of expected cases of pleural mesothelioma x 100.
In total, 5 cases of pleural mesothelioma were identified among women without occupational or household exposure to asbestos. The age at diagnosis varied from 38 to 81 years. Each case was exposed to asbestos in the direct vicinity of the residence through walking and cycling over local roads metalled with asbestos cement scrap material. The expected number of cases of mortality due to pleural mesothelioma in the town of Hof van Twente for the period 1996-2002 was about 0.46. The SMR was 1090 (95% CI: 465-2551), indicating a 10-fold increase in risk.
The increased mortality of pleural mesothelioma was most probably due to environmental exposure to asbestos. This finding agrees with comparable studies in other countries.