Abstract: Inhalation of asbestos resulting from living with and handling the clothing of workers directly exposed to asbestos has been established as a possible contributor to disease. This review evaluates epidemiologic studies of asbestos-related disease or conditions (mesothelioma, lung cancer, and pleural and interstitial abnormalities) among domestically exposed individuals and exposure studies that provide either direct exposure measurements or surrogate measures of asbestos exposure. A meta-analysis of studies providing relative risk estimates (n = 12) of mesothelioma was performed, resulting in a summary relative risk estimate (SRRE) of 5.02 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.48–10.13). This SRRE pertains to persons domestically exposed via workers involved in occupations with a traditionally high risk of disease from exposure to asbestos (i.e., asbestos product manufacturing workers, insulators, shipyard workers, and asbestos miners). The epidemiologic studies also show an elevated risk of interstitial, but more likely pleural, abnormalities (n = 6), though only half accounted for confounding exposures. The studies are limited with regard to lung cancer (n = 2). Several exposure-related studies describe results from airborne samples collected within the home (n = 3), during laundering of contaminated clothing (n = 1) or in controlled exposure simulations (n = 5) of domestic exposures, the latter of which were generally associated with low-level chrysotile-exposed workers. Lung burden studies (n = 6) were also evaluated as a surrogate of exposure. In general, available results for domestic exposures are lower than the workers’ exposures. Recent simulations of low-level chrysotile-exposed workers indicate asbestos levels commensurate with background concentrations in those exposed domestically.
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Goswami, E.; Craven, V.; Dahlstrom, D.L.; Alexander, D.; Mowat, F. Domestic Asbestos Exposure: A Review of Epidemiologic and Exposure Data. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10, 5629-5670.
Goswami E, Craven V, Dahlstrom DL, Alexander D, Mowat F. Domestic Asbestos Exposure: A Review of Epidemiologic and Exposure Data. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2013; 10(11):5629-5670.
Goswami, Emily; Craven, Valerie; Dahlstrom, David L.; Alexander, Dominik; Mowat, Fionna. 2013. "Domestic Asbestos Exposure: A Review of Epidemiologic and Exposure Data." Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 10, no. 11: 5629-5670.