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

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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. © Springer-Verlag 2007.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)993 - 1001
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2008
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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