Despite the use of large amounts of asbestos in the 1990s, few studies have been conducted in Korea on occupational and environmental asbestos exposure and lung cancer risk. The main aim of this study was to estimate the risk of lung cancer development caused by occupational and environmental asbestos exposures in residents of South Chungcheong Province, where about half of the asbestos mines in Korea operated. We conducted a case-control study, for which the information on asbestos exposure history and demographic characteristics was provided by the Environmental Health Center for asbestos of Soonchunhyang University Cheonan Hospital. After adjusting for all covariates, the odds ratios for lung cancer tended to increase with higher exposure probability for both occupational as well as environmental asbestos. The relative risk of occupational asbestos exposure was higher than that of environmental exposure; the interaction of co-exposure was not statistically significant. The estimated means of the latency period were significantly shorter in participants who were engaged in the production of asbestos-containing products and in those who lived near asbestos industries as compared to other groups.
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