Cases of alleged asbestos-related disease: A radiologie re-evaluation

R. B. Reger, W. S. Cole, E. N. Sargent, P. S. Wheeler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Chest radiographs were re-evaluated from 439 active and retired tireworkers previously designated as having a condition consistent with an asbestiform mineral exposure. The review was performed in an independent manner by three board-certified radiologists according to guidelines from an international classification system. The percentage of cases with abnormalities consistent with an asbestiform mineral exposure found separately by the three radiologists was 3.7, 3.0, and 2.7%. Application of an algorithm to form a consensus evaluation indicated that approximately 3.6% (16) of the subjects evaluated may have a condition consistent with an asbestos exposure. A more detailed review, however, revealed that only 11 workers, or 2.5% of the total, would have a reasonable likelihood of having such a condition. Most cases were normal and the majority of abnormalities present on the radiographs evaluated were nonoccupational in origin. Prevalent conditions identified included healed tuberculosis, histoplasmosis, emphysema, discoid ateleotasis, effusions, healed rib fractures, scarring due to infection or old inflammatory disease, possible cancer, miscellaneous nonspecific linear markings consistent with cigarette smoking and aging, and heart and vascular system diseases–the latter evidenced by an abnormally large number of subjects with healed coronary artery bypass surgery and pacemaker implants. In summary, the best estimate from this study indicates that possibly 16 (3.6%), but more realistically 11 (2.5%), of the 439 tireworkers evaluated may have a condition consistent with exposure to an asbestiform mineral. This represents a 40-fold difference between the re-evaluation results and the original survey work.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1088-1090
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Occupational Medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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