Date: 23 Sep 2008

The relationship between malignant mesothelioma and an asbestos cement plant environmental risk: a spatial case–control study in the city of Bari (Italy)

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Abstract

Objectives

To estimate the mesothelioma risk and environmental asbestos exposure (EAE) due to an asbestos-cement plant.

Methods

A spatial case–control study including 48 malignant mesothelioma (MM) cases occurred in the period 1993–2003 selected from the regional mesothelioma register (RMR) and 273 controls. The disease risk was estimated by means of a logistic-regression model, in which the probability of disease-occurrence is expressed as a function of the classes of distances. A non-parametric method was applied to estimate the full relative risk surface.

Results

Significant MM odds ratio of 5.29 (95 CI: 1.18–23.74) was found for people living within a range up to 500 m centered on the plant. The non-parametric estimation of relative risk surface unveiled a marked peak near the plant not paralleled by the spatial distribution of controls.

Conclusion

Evidence of an association between mesothelioma risk and EAE is highlighted. The role played by the RMR in increasing the public health local authorities awareness is stressed.