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Original Contribution
April 6, 1964

Asbestos Exposure and Neoplasia

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.