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Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2014 Feb;68(1):8-15. doi: 10.1016/j.yrtph.2013.10.008. Epub 2013 Nov 1.

Electricians' chrysotile asbestos exposure from electrical products and risks of mesothelioma and lung cancer.

Author information

1
Gradient, 20 University Rd., Cambridge, MA 02138, United States. Electronic address: jgoodman@gradientcorp.com.
2
Gradient, 600 Stewart St., Suite 803, Seattle, WA 98101, United States.
3
Gradient, 20 University Rd., Cambridge, MA 02138, United States.

Abstract

Both mechanistic and epidemiology studies indicate chrysotile asbestos has a threshold below which it does not cause mesothelioma or lung cancer. We conducted a critical review to determine whether electricians are at increased risk for these cancers and, if so, whether their exposure to chrysotile in electrical products could be responsible. We found that most, but not all, epidemiology studies indicate electricians are at increased risk for both cancers. Studies that evaluated electricians' exposure to asbestos during normal work tasks have generally reported low concentrations in air; an experimental study showed that grinding or drilling products containing encapsulated chrysotile resulted in exposures to chrysotile fibers far below the OSHA permissible exposure limit and the cancer no observed adverse effect level. Studies of other craftsmen who often work in the vicinity of electricians, such as insulators, reported asbestos (including amphibole) exposures that were relatively high. Overall, the evidence does not indicate that exposure to chrysotile in electrical products causes mesothelioma or lung cancer in electricians. Rather, the most likely cause of lung cancer in electricians is smoking, and the most likely cause of mesothelioma is exposure to amphibole asbestos as a result of renovation/demolition work or working in the proximity of other skilled craftsmen.

KEYWORDS:

Asbestos; Chrysotile; Electricians; Exposure; Lung cancer; Mesothelioma; Occupational; Review

PMID:
24189076
DOI:
10.1016/j.yrtph.2013.10.008
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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