Asbestos and Environmental Disease

석면과 환경성 질환

  • Received : 2009.11.10
  • Accepted : 2009.12.10
  • Published : 2009.12.31


Humans have a long history of asbestos use. There are reports from the Roman era, of asbestos victims among the slaves who worked in asbestos mines. The fact that asbestos can induce lung cancer and mesothelioma was verified epidemiologically in the 1960s. Asbestos related diseases are predominantly occupational in nature but can be caused by environmental exposure. Environmental mesothelioma is mainly associated with tremolite asbestos and this information comes from many countries including Turkey, Greece, Corsica, New Caledonia and Cyprus. In 1993, the first case of mesothelioma in Korea was reported in an asbestos textile worker. Recently, some asbestos disease victims who lived near an asbestos factory have their cases before the courts. A series of recent asbestos-related events in Korea, for example, the shocking revelation of asbestos containing talc in baby powders have caused the general public to become aware of the health risks of asbestos exposure. Asbestos related diseases are characterized by a long latency period, especially, mesothelioma which has no threshold of safety. Hence the best strategy for preventing asbestos related diseases is to decrease asbestos exposure levels to as low as possible.


Asbestos;mesothelioma;environmental disease;baby powder


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