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Original Contribution
April 6, 1964

Asbestos Exposure and Neoplasia

Author Affiliations

New York

From the Division of Thoracic Disease, Department of Medicine, and the Department of Pathology, Mount Sinai Hospital.

JAMA. 1964;188(1):22-26. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03060270028006

Building trades insulation workers have relatively light, intermittent, exposure to asbestos. Of 632 insulation workers, who entered the trade before 1943 and were traced through 1962, forty-five died of cancer of the lung or pleura, whereas only 6.6 such deaths were expected. Three of the pleural tumors were mesotheliomas; there was also one peritoneal mesothelioma. Four mesotheliomas in a total of 255 deaths is an exceedingly high incidence for such a rare tumor. In addition, an unexpectedly large number of men died of cancer of the stomach, colon, or rectum (29 compared with 9.4 expected). Other cancers were not increased; 20.5 were expected, 21 occurred. Twelve men died of asbestosis.