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      Lung cancer and mesothelioma risk assessment for a population environmentally exposed to asbestos.

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          Abstract

          Asbestos-related cancer risk is usually a concern restricted to occupational settings. However, recent published data on asbestos environmental concentrations in Thetford Mines, a mining city in Quebec, Canada, provided an opportunity to undertake a prospective cancer risk assessment in the general population exposed to these concentrations. Using an updated Berman and Crump dose-response model for asbestos exposure, we selected population-specific potency factors for lung cancer and mesothelioma. These factors were evaluated on the basis of population-specific cancer data attributed to the studied area's past environmental levels of asbestos. We also used more recent population-specific mortality data along with the validated potency factors to generate corresponding inhalation unit risks. These unit risks were then combined with recent environmental measurements made in the mining town to calculate estimated lifetime risk of asbestos-induced lung cancer and mesothelioma. Depending on the chosen potency factors, the lifetime mortality risks varied between 0.7 and 2.6 per 100,000 for lung cancer and between 0.7 and 2.3 per 100,000 for mesothelioma. In conclusion, the estimated lifetime cancer risk for both cancers combined is close to Health Canada's threshold for "negligible" lifetime cancer risks. However, the risks estimated are subject to several uncertainties and should be confirmed by future mortality rates attributed to present day asbestos exposure.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Int J Hyg Environ Health
          International journal of hygiene and environmental health
          1618-131X
          1438-4639
          Mar 2014
          : 217
          : 2-3
          Affiliations
          [1 ] Institut national de santé publique du Québec (INSPQ), Montréal, Québec, Canada. Electronic address: marie-helene.bourgault@inspq.qc.ca.
          [2 ] Institut national de santé publique du Québec (INSPQ), Montréal, Québec, Canada.
          [3 ] Institut national de santé publique du Québec (INSPQ), Montréal, Québec, Canada; Département de santé environnementale et de santé au travail, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada.
          Article
          S1438-4639(13)00102-8
          10.1016/j.ijheh.2013.07.008
          23953254
          c81a532c-3656-4c3e-bdef-01d993def267
          Crown Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.
          History

          Asbestos,Environmental exposure,Lung cancer,Mesothelioma,Province of Quebec,Risk assessment

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