Studies linking asbestos to disease began in the early 1900's. Direct exposure to asbestos has been implicated in various diseases, principally mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis, and lung scarring. The risks in all four diseases are closely influenced by dose and duration of asbestos exposure, and they involve long and variable latent periods after initial exposure (20-40 years).
"Mortality Experience of Family Contacts of Asbestos Factory Workers", Joubert, L, Seidman, H.& Selikoff, I.J., 643 Annals of New York Acad Sci 416-8
Focus on the Law: 6/1/1992