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 has been enumerated, and its size is more than 35 000 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” of 2009–2014 and of 2015–2020.

The main results of the study of cancer mortality in the cohort were published on 22 January 2024. Below are the links to the original Open Access article in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute and to some additional Questions & Answers about the study.