History of Asbestos & Lung Cancer

In England in 1934, two cases of lung cancer were reported in patients with asbestosis. Wood and Gloyne, Pulmonary Asbestosis: A Review of 100 cases. Lancet: 1934; 2:1383-1385.

In the United States a case was reported in 1936 of an individual with asbestosis developing lung cancer and suggested a cause and effect relationship. Lynch and Smith, Pulmonary Asbestosis III: Carcinoma of the lung in asbestosis. 1936:14:56-64.

In 1947 an English study by Merewether reported that of 235 deaths due to asbestosis, 31 of these individuals had cancer of the lung or pleura. This report strongly suggested a causal association among asbestos, asbestosis and lung cancer. Merewether ERA Annual Report of the chief inspector of factories for the year 1947. London : HM Stationery Office, 1949: 78-81.

In 1955 an epidemiologic study evaluated lung cancer in asbestos workers and concluded that there was a 10 times greater risk of lung cancer in asbestos workers employed for 20 years or more. Doll R. Mortality from lung cancer in asbestos workers. British Journal of Ind. Medicine 1955: 12: 81-86.

In 1964 Selikoff, Churg and Hammond stated that asbestos causes lung cancer. Selikoff, Churg and Hammond, Asbestos Exposure and Neoplasm, JAMA 1964: 188: 22-26.

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