Italians combat deadly asbestos legacy
ITALY banned the use of asbestos in 1992, but now faces a legacy of high rates of occupational mesothelioma.
The Italian register for pleural malignant mesothelioma recorded almost 8900 cases from 1993 to 2004, or 3.49 cases per 100,000 men and 1.25 cases per 100,000 women.
Occupational exposure was involved in almost 70% of cases, while living with someone with an occupational exposure or near a contaminated site each accounted for almost 5%.
The median year of workers’ first exposure was 1957 – about 20 years before the country’s peak in asbestos production (1976–80).
Int J Cancer 2011, online 6 June