Med. Pr. 2002;53(2)
Cancerogenic effect of occupational exposure to man-made mineral fibres: a review of epidemiological evidences
Kancerogenne działanie sztucznych włókien mineralnych - dowody w badaniach epidemiologicznych
I. SzadkowskaśStańczyk, G. StroszejnśMrowca


The size and technology of the man-made mineral fibers production in Poland is presented. The results of the case-referent and cohort studies aimed at assessing risk for or mortality from respiratory system cancers in populations occupationally exposed to dust containing artificial mineral fibers are also analyzed. The majority of studies focused on the exposure to glass fibers, however, their results revealed no increased risk for cancers in those exposed. As to the increased risk for respiratory system cancers induced by exposure to glass and slag wool fibers, the same proportion of positive and negative results was found in the literature. Most of the studies showed no association between the risk level and the exposure period or cumulative dose. The association with latency period of more than 20 years was only emphasized. This together with the fact that in the majority of studies neither smoking histories nor exposures to other respiratory carcinogens were considered significantly undermine thecause-effect inference.
Bearing this mind,it should be concluded that there is an urgent need to undertake further studies with the aim to assess the health risk of exposure to man-made mineral fibers, but only such studies in which besides exposure to fibers, it will be possible to analyze exposure to other coexisting carcinogenic agents.

Key words

man-made mineral fiber MMMF, cancer risk, respiratory system cancers, occupational exposure

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