The Mesothelioma Story
The Mesothelioma Story began in early 1900. The history of mesothelioma, as discovered in other serious diseases, is a combination of science, politics, medical research and development. Mesothelioma is a deadly disease that affects the lining of various organs in the body, usually the lungs. We now know that exposure to asbestos is the main cause of this disease; However, for more than 100 years of mining and extraction of asbestos, the link between asbestos and mesothelioma remained unclear. Exposure to mineral erionite and malignant mesothelioma has also been linked.
Pulmonary disease and asbestos
In the early 1900s workers in asbestos factories in the UK experienced an alarming incidence of pulmonary disease. The first reported case of asbestosis on a British worker in asbestos industry occurred in 1906. In the late 1920s, the problems of pulmonary disease with mineral production and asbestos were increasingly well-known to the point that the British government did a study in 1930’s. Outcomes of The study commissioned an occupational disease of asbestosis and were associated with asbestexposition.
Mesothelioma and asbestos
The relationship between lung cancer and asbestos was slower. While many asbestos workers of lung cancer died in the 1930s and 1940s, there was also a high rate of growth of tobacco consumption and a high incidence of tuberculosis. Unless an autopsy has been performed, it was difficult to determine the exact type of lung cancer that causes death. During this time, it appears that the officials of the asbestos industry have done little to establish the link between asbestos and mesothelioma, although substantial evidence suggests for this compound.
Asbestos in South Africa’s Mesothelioma Story
After the Second World War, the extraction of asbestos in South Africa has grown strongly. South Africa was much cheaper labor and new technology made the removal of asbestos much more effective. Although a famous South African physician has pointed out in 1928 that exposure to asbestos could become dangerous, he said the dangers was in the treatment of asbestos, not mining. (South Africa has done little treatment of asbestos at this time).
In 1948, South Africa ordered the first hospital for infectious diseases in the field of asbestos. The first chief physician of the hospital, Chris Sleggs, was the first doctor in the world to see a significant number of cases of malignant mesothelioma. He pointed out that atypical pulmonary disease in the rooms. Most TB cases were recovered with treatment but some cases appeared drug resistant. He began to investigate.
Chris Wagner, a medical researcher, was aware of the atypical pulmonary disease in the mid-1950s, a research project began to better understand the business risks associated with the degradation of asbestos. Due to the efforts of Drs. Sleggs and Wagner, with a third researcher, Ian Webster, in the late 1950s the connection between mesothelioma and asbestos was well documented.
In 1959, these trio of researchers appeared at an international conference in Johannesburg, South Africa. They presented papers based on their research, which show the connection between mesothelioma and asbestos. After the conference, she combined her data and sent to a respected British Medical Journal. Their data showed that the 33 cases of pleural mesothelioma of them had tested 32 exposure to asbestos mining. Thus as the Mesothelioma Story goes, there is not end in sight just yet… or is there?