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Revista Española de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 2173-9110Print version ISSN 1135-5727


GARCIA GOMEZ, Montserrat; MENENDEZ-NAVARRO, Alfredo  and  CASTANEDA LOPEZ, Rosario. Incidence of Asbestosis and other Benign Lung Diseases: Spain, 1962-2010. Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 2012, vol.86, n.6, pp.613-625. ISSN 2173-9110.

Background: We lack in Spain of a full description of the diseases caused by asbestos since its inclusion in the list of occupational diseases 1961. The aim of this study is to know the incidence of asbestosis and other asbestos-related benign lung diseases, which were recognized as occupational diseases by the Spanish Social Security system between 1962 and 2010. Methods: Cases were obtained from Reports of the National Insurance Institute (1962 to 1975), from Employment Ministry Statistics and Reports of the Work Health and Safety Department (1976 to 1981), and from the Employment Statistics Yearbooks (from 1982). Specific rates were obtained by economic activity and occupation. We represent temporal trends in the number of the diseases under study and described their geographic distribution by provinces. Results: Between 1963 and 2010, 815 cases of asbestosis and 46 cases of fibrous pleural or pericardial disease were recognized. Since 1990 until 2001 Fiber-cement sector accumulated 189 cases of asbestosis, Shipbuilding sector 173, Construction sector 49 and Metallurgy 35. By occupation, fixed machinery operators had 114 cases; inmolders, welders, sheet metal workers and fitters 88 cases; and painters, plumbers and pipe fitters 59 cases. The autonomous communities with the highest number of cases were Valencia (106), Galicia (86), Andalusia (82), Catalonia (75), Madrid (58), and the Basque Country (41). Conclusions: Incidence rates and the time trend of professional asbestosis in Spain may be demonstrating the underreporting of the occupational origin of these diseases in our country. The most affected sectors were that of the fiber-cement and the naval one and the highest incidence was given in the Valencian Community.

Keywords : Asbestos; Asbestosis; Occupational Diseases; Occupational Health; Spain; Occupation; Metallurgy.

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