A historical cohort study is being conducted of cancer mortality in chrysotile asbestos miners and millers in the town of Asbest, Russian Federation. Chrysotile is the only type of asbestos that is mined today.

The principal objectives of the study are to further characterize the exposure-response relationship between chrysotile and cancers already established to be caused by asbestos, and to add to the available evidence about risks of other cancers (see About Asbestos).

The cohort is currently being enumerated, and its expected size is more than 30 000 workers. The study will combine work history and follow-up data to estimate and compare cancer mortality rates for groups of workers with different levels of exposure and for different time periods since first exposure.

The strengths of the study include its focus on the cancer risks of exposure to chrysotile asbestos alone, its large cohort that includes a large number of women, the long follow-up period, and the availability of detailed data about airborne dust concentrations.

This study is funded by the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation in the framework of the Federal Target Program “National System of Chemical and Biological Safety of the Russian Federation (2009-2014)”.