Medical research into the health impact of asbestos exposure began during the first decades of the 20th century, and as the century progressed it became increasingly clear there was a link between asbestos exposure and asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma.
Since the 1990s the incidence of mesothelioma has been increasing. In NSW between 2004 and 2008 1047 cases were diagnosed and it is one of the leading types of cancer in WA. Australia has among the highest rates of mesothelioma in the world and medical researchers predict the total cases of mesothelioma will reach 18,000 by 2020.
In this section we look at the diseases caused by asbestos, covering the causes, diagnosis and treatments. The information provided is designed to complement, not replace, the relationship between a patient and his/her own physician.
information in this section has been compiled in consultation with researchers from the University of Western Australia, in particular Clinical Professor Bill Musk.