• asbestos household exposures;
  • pleural mesothelioma in women;
  • non-occupational asbestos exposures;
  • death certificate study


We reviewed the certificates of 39,650 deaths which occurred in the period 1975-1988 in Leghorn and of 45,900 in La Spezia (Italy) in the period 1958–1988.

In total 262 cases have been recorded as pleural mesothelioma. The main occupational exposures occurred in the shipbuilding industry.

Regarding non-occupational exposures to asbestos, 13 cases of mesothelioma were found in women who had washed the work clothes of their relatives at home; we also found other domestic uses of asbestos which were rarely or never discussed previously in the literature: six cases might be explained by the installation of fireproof or non-conductive materials in the domestic environment.

These exposures probably are more frequent than realized until now. © 1992 Wiley-Liss, Inc.