Mineral Fibres and the Mesothelium—Epidemiological and Experimental Studies

  • J. S. P. Jones
  • E. A. Brachet


The first reports of a possible relationship between the inhalation of mineral fibres and the subsequent development of malignant disease are to be found in the medical literature of the early 1930s. Gloyne (1933), in a discussion on the complications of pulmonary asbestosis, described a case of abdominal carcinoma and one carcinoma and one of squamous cell carcinoma of the pleura. These were considered at the time to be incidental and unrelated to the asbestosis. Wood and Gloyne (1934) reported a series of 100 cases of asbestosis of whom two had died of carcinoma of the lung and another had tumour deposits in the pleura. Lynch and Smith (1935) described an asbestos weaver who died at the age of 57 years from asbestosis, but in whom a lung cancer was also found. In the same year, Gloyne (1935) reported two cases of asbestosis in whom squamous cell bronchial carcinomas were also present. Buchanan (1965) quotes, ‘Merewether (E.R.A.) has informed me that Gloyne had suggested to him the possibility of an association of asbestosis and pulmonary malignancy some time before 1935.’ Despite these tentative thoughts of a link between asbestos exposure and malignancy in the 1930s, it was not until the publication of the classical paper of Doll (1955) that an increased risk of lung cancer was definitely confirmed amongst these working in the asbestos industry.


Mesothelial Cell Malignant Mesothelioma Asbestos Exposure Pleural Plaque Asbestos Body 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. S. P. Jones
  • E. A. Brachet

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