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Home > About mesothelioma > History of mesothelioma

History of mesothelioma

In the early 20th century it was discovered that asbestos is the main cause of mesothelioma. In the 1930's many articles were published that linked asbestos to cancer. The first publication that suggested that asbestos was the primary cause of lung cancer was called "Pulmonary Asbestosis: Carcinoma of the Lung in Asbesto-Silicosis" and it was published in the American Journal of Cancer.

The confirmation to this theory appeared only in 1955 when a connection between the development of certain forms of lung cancer and the ingestion of asbestos fibers was shown. The first confirmation of a disease arising from exposure to crocidolite asbestos was established in article published by Wagner in 1960. In 1962 a malignant mesothelioma was diagnosed in an Australian asbestos worker by Dr McNulty.

Before 60th they use an asbestos-containing mine waste to cover schoolyards and playgrounds. There are a lot of evidences when people who didn't work in asbestos factories contracted mesothelioma. It was established in an article that was published in the British Journal of Industrial Medicine in 1965 that group of risk includes those who live in the neighborhoods of asbestos factories.

The last asbestos mining existed until 1966 at Wittenoom even in spite of proof that the asbestos dust causes asbestos related disease. Nobody knows why the mine was allowed to operate without any risk control measures. Also a strange fact but nobody did anything to force the owner (CSR) to close down their operations or adopt safer work practices.

In 1974 a cover story called "Is this Killer in Your Home?" was published in Australia's Bulletin magazine whose authors contended that blue asbestos is harmful for health. The town of Wittenoom was faced out in 1978 by the Western Australian Government after the publication of a Health Dept. booklet, "The Health Hazard at Wittenoom".

Each year more and more evidences that linked asbestos exposure to mesothelioma continued to appear. For instance a medical study that was held in the Western Australian town of Wittenoom that was home to an asbestos mine and mill revealed the first diagnosed case of malignant mesothelioma in an Australian asbestos worker who had worked at the asbestos mine in Wittenoom for three years.

Accordingly people who didn't work in the mines, but lived in the town were exposed to asbestos, which causes the developing mesothelioma. Na at last in 1978 the Western Australian Government phased out the town of Wittenoom.

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