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Asbestos Exposure And The Mesothelioma Incidence In Poland

Małgorzata Krówczyńska, Ewa Wilk

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Asbestos is carcinogenic to humans; the exposure to asbestos causes a wide range of diseases. Aim: Malignant mesothelioma (MM) is unique for asbestos exposure. Methods: Based on the physical inventory of asbestos-cement roofing, the social-economic situation of communes, the proximity of asbestos manufacturing plants, the land use data referring to the surface of the built-up area, and the historical data on the annexations, the amount of asbestos-containing products in use was estimated by computing best Random Forest models. Per capita asbestos use is an indicator to compare the state of asbestos use among countries. MM cases in the local administrative units (provinces) were tested by the application of Moran’s I and Getis and Ord statistic. Results: The total amount of asbestos roofing in Poland was estimated at 738,068,000 m2 (8.2 million tons). In total there were 28 plants in Poland located in 11 provinces throughout the country. The amount of asbestos-cement roofing in use is correlated primarily with the measurements of asbestos concentration fibers (rs = 0.597). MM raw morbidity rate was calculated, stratified by province, and classified into five groups with respect to incidence. Hotspots of MM cases are in the southern part of Poland. Conclusions: MM cases are concentrated in the same geographical areas, which may indicate an increasing impact of environmental exposure. The results of the local and global autocorrelation clearly indicate a statistically significant relationship between incidences of MM in provinces. Poland and other Eastern European countries are among countries with low MM incidence rate. Detailed investigation is desirable since the current MM morbidity rate in Poland seems to be underestimated.