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J Occup Environ Med. 2010 May;52(5):555-60. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3181dc6d45.

Vermiculite worker mortality: estimated effects of occupational exposure to Libby amphibole.

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  • 1Division of Health Studies, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Atlanta, GA 30341, USA.



To examine the relationship between cumulative fiber exposure (CFE) and mortality in a retrospective cohort study of vermiculite workers exposed to Libby amphibole (n = 1862).


Extended Cox regression was used to estimate the hazards associated with CFE as a time-dependent covariate of multiple-cause mortality.


The Cox models for mesothelioma, asbestosis, lung cancer, and non-malignant respiratory disease were significant with rate ratios that increased monotonically with CFE. The model for deaths due to cardiovascular disease was also significant (rate ratio for CFE > or =44.0 f/cc-y vs <1.4 f/cc-y was 1.5; 95% confidence interval = 1.1 to 2.0).


By using a within-cohort comparison, the results demonstrate a clear exposure-response relationship between CFE and mortality from asbestos-related causes. The finding of an association between CFE and cardiovascular mortality suggests persons exposed to Libby amphibole should be monitored for this outcome.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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