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Papers And Originals

Effects of Asbestos in Dockyard Workers

Br Med J 1968; 3 doi: (Published 07 September 1968) Cite this as: Br Med J 1968;3:574
  1. Geoffrey Sheers,
  2. Ann R. Templeton


    The prevalence of pleural and pulmonary abnormalities attributed to asbestos among 15,000 workers in a naval dockyard has been studied by means of a one-in-ten sample. Ninety-four per cent. of the men in the sample were examined. Of these, 3% had experienced continuous occupational exposure to asbestos and half of the remainder (representing approximately 6,800 men) had been exposed intermittently. The prevalence of pleural fibrosis ranged from 28% in continuously exposed workers to 1.9% in those with least exposure.

    Most cases of pulmonary fibrosis occurred in laggers and sprayers who had been continuously exposed for between 15 and 20 years. Pulmonary fibrosis was also seen in a variety of intermittently exposed trades, and had been preceded by extensive pleural thickening in some cases. Ten cases of pleural mesothelioma have occurred in the last three years and a large number of men appear to be potentially at risk.