|Asbestos; mesothelioma [Photograph]. Encyclopedia Britannica Online Library Edition. Retrieved 26 June 2013, from http://library.eb.com.au/eb/art-171564|
Asbestos, named from the ancient Greek word for 'inextinguishable', was touted as the 'wonder material' of the 1950s, 60s and 70s, and used extensively in Australian buildings between 1945 and 1980.[iv] As a material, it was cheap, strong and heat resistant, and its versatility resulted in it being used in over 3000 products, including insulation, carpet underlay, brake linings, roof tiles and cement sheeting.[v]
Mesothelioma, one of the cancers arising from exposure to asbestos fibres, can take up to 20-40 years to develop.[vi] Many people who develop mesothelioma do not experience any noticable symptoms for a long period of time.[vii] Early signs of pleural mesothelioma include:
- trouble breathing
- long-lasting cough and pain under the rib cage or in the abdomen
- pain while breathing
- weight loss [viii]
[i] Schmidt, L. 2013, 'Still breathing the devil's dust', Age, The (Melbourne), 19 June, Australia/New Zealand Reference Centre, EBSCOhost, viewed 19 June 2013.
[vi] Smith, N. 2013, ‘Pleural Mesothelioma’, Conditions and Procedures in Brief [report], Consumer Health Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 21 June, 2013.