• 1898: Annual Report of the Chief Inspector of Factories and Workshops for the Year 1898 in the United Kingdom noted the hazardous effects of asbestos exposure.[1]
  • 1900: British physician H. Montague Murray diagnosed lung disease caused by asbestos exposure as the cause of death of a thirty-three year old asbestos worker.[2]
  • 1913: Industrial hygienists recommended that workers exposed to hazardous materials should change clothes before leaving the workplace to avoid contamination of the home environment.[3]
  • 1918: Frederick L. Hoffman, a statistician with Prudential Insurance, issued a report for the US Bureau of Labor Statistics which indicated asbestos workers attempting to purchase life insurance were “generally declined on account of the assumed health-injurious conditions of the industry”, and that asbestos workers died abnormally early.[4]
  • 1930: British researchers established that exposure to asbestos-containing dust caused asbestosis.[5]
  • 1947: Physicians from Massachusetts General Hospital established a causal link between asbestos exposure and malignant mesothelioma.[6]
  • 1949: Exposure to asbestos was established as a cause of lung cancer.[7]
  • 1960: Researchers in South Africa demonstrated the risk of asbestos-related disease to the members of a worker’s household from exposure to asbestos.[8]
  • 1971: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration set a permissible exposure limit for asbestos-containing dust. [9]
  • 1977: The Consumer Product Safety Commission banned several asbestos-containing products, including joint compound and decorative gas fireplace ash. [10]

[1] United Kingdom, Home Office, Annual Report of the Chief Inspector of Factories and Workshops for the Year 1898 (London: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1899) 171-2.

[2] United Kingdom, Home Office, Departmental Committee on Compensation for Industrial Diseases, Report of the Departmental Committee on Compensation for Industrial Diseases (London: His Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1907) 127-8.

[3] William H. Tolman and Leonard B. Kendall, Safety: Methods for Preventing Occupational and Other Accidents and Disease (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1913) 248-9.

[4] United States, Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Mortality from Respiratory Diseases in Dusty Trades (Inorganic Dusts) (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1918) 178.

[5] United Kingdom, Home Office, Report on Effects of Asbestos Dust on the Lungs and Dust Suppression in the Asbestos Industry (London: His Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1930) 28-29.

[6] Tracy B. Mallory, et al., “Case Records of Massachusetts General Hospital,” New England Journal of Medicine 236.11 (1947): 407-12.

[7] United Kingdom, Home Office, Annual Report of the Chief Inspector of Factories for the Year 1947 (London: His Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1949)

[8] J. C. Wagner, et al., “Diffuse Pleural Mesothelioma and Asbestos Exposure in the North Western Cape Province,” British Journal of Industrial Medicine 17.4 (1960): 260-271.

[9] United States, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 29 CFR 1910.93, 36 FR 10466 (Washington: GPO, 1971) Table G-3.

[10] United States, Consumer Product Safety Commission, Asbestos Ban Announced. Washington: GPO, 1977.