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 ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 14-17

Shipbuilding and mesothelioma in Monfalcone, Italy


Center for the Study of Environmental Cancer, Italian League against Cancer, Monfalcone, Italy

Correspondence Address:
Claudio Bianchi
Center for the Study of Environmental Cancer, Italian League against Cancer, Hospital of Monfalcone, 34074, Monfalcone
Italy
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0019-5278.99682

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The Monfalcone area, northeastern Italy, a small industrial district with large shipyards, shows a high incidence of asbestos-related mesothelioma. In order to reconstruct some features of the Monfalcone shipbuilding activity during World War II and its health effects, the shipyard roll were examined, and people hired in 1942 were identified. The list of 2,776 persons hired in 1942 was coupled with the Pathological Anatomy Units archives of the Monfalcone and the Trieste Hospitals. Eighteen of the above persons had been diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma in the period 1981-2005. Eight patients had their first exposure in 1942, and the others had histories of previous exposures. Of 557 persons aged 14-15 years in 1942, six had a diagnosis of pleural mesothelioma. Necropsy findings were available in 14 cases. The burdens of lung asbestos bodies, isolated in 11 cases, showed wide variation (from 150 to 600,000 bodies per gram of dried tissue). While probably underestimated, the present data indicate a high incidence of mesothelioma among the shipyard workers of Monfalcone.






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