Asbestos related diseases in Italy: an integrated approach to identify unexpected professional or environmental exposure risks at municipal level

  • Alessandro Marinaccio
  • Alberto Scarselli
  • Alessandra Binazzi
  • Pierluigi Altavista
  • Stefano Belli
  • Marina Mastrantonio
  • Roberto Pasetto
  • Raffaella Uccelli
  • Pietro Comba
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00420-007-0293-x

Cite this article as:
Marinaccio, A., Scarselli, A., Binazzi, A. et al. Int Arch Occup Environ Health (2008) 81: 993. doi:10.1007/s00420-007-0293-x

Abstract

Purpose

Past intensive use of asbestos has implied severe public health consequences. Spatial distribution of deaths from malignant mesothelioma and of compensated cases for asbestos related diseases in Italy were compared to identify unexpected sources of asbestos exposure.

Methods

Mortality for malignant mesothelioma at municipal level and geographical clusters of compensated cases for asbestos related diseases, as proxy of industrial asbestos exposure, were identified in the period 1988–2001.

Results

Municipalities with at least four mesothelioma deaths and a statistically significant mortality excess were 148; and 53 out of them had no compensated case for asbestos-related diseases. Finally 22 of these lay outside of any aforementioned cluster, thus suggestive of a possible unrecognized exposure.

Conclusions

Availability long-term national figures and the different etiology of asbestos related diseases are the key features of this exercise that was applied to Italy, but can be replicated wherever registration systems of diseases related to long term exposure to asbestos are available.

Keywords

Malignant mesothelioma Asbestosis Asbestos exposures Mortality Spatial distribution Italy 

Abbreviations

MM

Malignant mesothelioma

ASB

Asbestosis

ARC

Asbestos-related cancers

ARD

Asbestos-related diseases

MNP

Malignant neoplasm of pleura

ICD

International classification of diseases

SMRs

Standardized mortality ratios

CI

Confidence interval

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alessandro Marinaccio
    • 1
  • Alberto Scarselli
    • 1
  • Alessandra Binazzi
    • 1
  • Pierluigi Altavista
    • 2
  • Stefano Belli
    • 3
  • Marina Mastrantonio
    • 2
  • Roberto Pasetto
    • 3
  • Raffaella Uccelli
    • 2
  • Pietro Comba
    • 3
  1. 1.Epidemiology Unit, Department of Occupational MedicineItalian National Institute for Occupational Safety and PreventionRomeItaly
  2. 2.Unit of Toxicology and Biomedical SciencesNational Agency for New Technologies, Energy and the EnvironmentS.Maria di Galeria, RomeItaly
  3. 3.Department of Environment and Primary PreventionIstituto Superiore di SanitaRomeItaly

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