Enviromental Asbestos Exposure as a Risk Factor for Small Airways ObstructionSilvano Dragonieri1*, Tommaso Massaro2, Paolo Trerotoli3, Antonio Baldassarre2, Pierluigi Carratù1, Onofrio Resta1 and Marina Musti2
- *Corresponding Author:
- Silvano Dragonieri
Department of Respiratory Diseases
University of Bari
Piazza Giulio Cesare 11 70100 Bari, Italy
Email: [email protected]
Received date: May 01, 2014; Accepted date: June 09, 2014; Published date: June 16, 2014
Citation: Dragonieri S, Massaro T, Trerotoli P, Baldassarre A, Carratù P, et al. (2014) Enviromental Asbestos Exposure as a Risk Factor for Small Airways Obstruction. Occup Med Health Aff 2:164. doi: 10.4172/2329-6879.1000164
Copyright: © 2014 Dragonieri S, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Background: Tremolite is one of the six recognized types of asbestos, whose toxicity and carcinogenity is welldocumented. Resident population in the area of Lagonegro (Basilicata, Italy) has been shown to be exposed to enviromental tremolite pollution, deriving from superficial rocks and asbestos caves. A branch of the ongoing health surveillance program for residents is evaluating the prevalence of pulmonary functional abnormalities. Methods: The study group was composed by 655 long-term residents in the tremolite-exposed area of Lagonegro (age 49.35 ± 16.68, current smokers 109, ex-smokers 126) . The control group was composed by 653 individuals living in areas not tremolite-exposed (age 54.45 ± 17.16, current smokers 128, ex-smokers 137). All the participants to the study performed a lung function test. Results: Prevalence of obstructive and restrictive diseases did not show significant differences between the two groups. Tremolite-exposed group showed a higher prevalence of small-airways disease compared to the nonexposed group (p<0.01). Odds Ratio for small-airways obstruction was 3.46 (95% CI, lower limit 2.55, upper limit 4.69). irrespective of smoking status. Conclusions: According to our data, tremolite exposure may be a risk factor for small airways disease. It is mandatory to follow these subjects longitudinally by repeated measurements.