Provided below is a timeline of key developments and milestones that occured in the history of asbestos related disease from a medical perspective. We hope that you will find this information useful.
Year Author Description of Text
1879 insulation material and products containing asbestos is manufactured for commercial use.
1899 Murray abstract entitled "Curious Bodies" describes the first reported case of asbestosis
1906 Auribault Asbestos fibers found to be a contributing factor in the deaths of 50 people; First instance of asbestos-related lung disease identified.
1918 Hoffman United States Dept of Labor publication reports - "urgent need for more extensive investigation...."
1924-27 Cooke The first case of "asbestosis" is documented in British Literature.
1928-29 Seiller; Haddow Report indicated that four deceased individuals were age 41, on average, at the time of death
1920-29 More than 25 asbestos related articles are published
1930 Mereweather & Price Out of 363 asbestos textile mill workers 26% (95) were diagnosed with asbestosis; length and level of exposure are considered factors in developing the disease.
1930 International Labor Office, Geneva Encyclopedia, Occupation & Health
"more accurate and thorough research must become available in medical literature as it pertains to industries that utilize asbestos containing products. More and more industries are using asbestos so there is an increased sense of urgency with which we must act."
1930-31 Soper; Panacost & Pendergrass Asbestos diseases are found to have a long latency period. Disease may not develop for up to 25 years after exposure stops. The disease will continue to progress despite discontinued exposure.
Lynch & Smith
172 documented medical cases are found in publications
Wood & Gloyne
Working with asbestos laden insulation even in a "sawyer" occupation can lead to Asbestosis
First documented case of asbestosis found in a U.S. insulation worker
Even brief exposure to asbestos can be considered an industrial hazard. Plants do not offer adequate protection against asbestos exposure to workers.
Workers in mills and manufacturing plant face grave risk and almost certain death due to asbestos exposure.
Wood & Gloyne
Initial 100 cases of asbestosis are reviewed including individuals who worked outdoors, in an office and one who was a boiler-riveter. Two cases involved fatal lung cancer.
126 people who worked in either U.S. mines or mills were randomly selected to take a physical exam. All had in excess of three years exposure to dust. 67 individuals were found to have asbestosis.
Dept. of Labor, Commonwealth of Penn. Special Bulletin I, II & III
Published bibliography references 125 articles. Clear correlation between dust measurement and incidence of asbestos cancer identified (8% disease at 5 mppcf, 22% at 17mppcf, 57% at 44 mppcf); 25% survival rate identified for asbestosis victims.
Lynch & Smith
First instances of lung cancer and asbestosis in the U.S. were documented.
Asbestosis becoming a more serious issue for workers. Work hazards are not being sufficiently addressed. 34% of workers are developing life threatening illness; The more workers exposed, the more reported cases of asbestosis seen.
Egbert; Nordmann, British Factory Inspectorate Report
More instances of lung cancer seen in asbestosis-related illness.
U.S.P.H.S. study -- Until further research is conducted, the maximum dust level value is established at 5 mppcf
The British implement 1931 regulations to manufacturing facilities and mills where asbestos containing products were made or sold.
More than 150 articles are published
German shipyard work performing insulation duties develops asbestosis and is compensated with disability money.
Two insulation workers develop lung cancer.
A published book that examines tumors that have links to certain occupational work suggesting that lung cancer is linked to asbestos exposure on the job.
Asbestosis and lung cancer are considered diseases for which workers are entitled to compensation in Germany.
Workers need to be better educated on the occupational risks of asbestos exposure and links to lung cancer with asbestosis.
First pleural mesothelioma case reported
3 shipyards are examined by the U.S. Navy. It was noted that elevated dust levels existed when cutting, sawing and mixing asbestos products; asbestos disease likely in workers who perform these functions; 3 instances of asbestosis identified out of 51 men with more than 10 years time working in the shipyards.
Updated a list of MAC values to reflect 5 mppcf (known as TLVs beginning in 1949)
13% of individuals (31/235)who died of asbestosis were examined during autopsy and found to have lung cancer. Only 1% of lung cancer cases were found in silicotics.
Spotlight attention needed on the increasing rates of occupational related cancer deaths.
More than 50 new articles published
1949 Factory Inspectorate Report (Great Britain)
Discusses the need for workers to be aware of potential risks associated with using burlap packaging in factories.
First documented case of mesothelioma in an insulation worker
Textile workers with more than twenty years asbestos exposure found to have high mortality rate. Out of 113 textile employees, 39 people died. 11 had lung cancer
Great Britain seeing an increase in the reported number of cases of asbestosis especially among insulation workers
Documentation showing a link between asbestosis in animals and exposure to products that contain asbestos.
22 out of 31 workers in Denmark with over 20 years experience have abnormal medical conditions after working with insulation products.
Van Der Shoot
Insulation work in a Dutch refinery develops Pleural mesothelioma.
More than 125 publications
Strong correlation between mesothelioma and occupational or environmental asbestos exposure. 32 out of 33 people diagnosed with mesothelioma were exposed to asbestos.
Mine and mill worker showing higher incidence of pleural calcifications.
Eisenstadt, Wilson, McCaughey, Wade, Elmes, Castleman, Kibbee
Documented case profiles of workers in the US and Great Britain that developed mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos on the job.
Asbestos plant workers in the U.S. show higher death rates.
6 shipyard workers developed asbestosis; industrial study conducted to review dust levels - found some instances where levels exceeded TLV. Work environment appeared excessively dusty during sawing operations.
Review of insulation workers with occupational asbestos exposure uncovers links to excessive asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma fatalities. Review looks at 1,117 workers.
9 instances of Mesothelioma diagnosed in family members of asbestos workers who received second hand exposure.
Insulation workers in reported 41% of new asbestosis cases between 1955 and 1963; 21% worked in textile industries.
More than 200 publications