Malignant mesothelioma (MME) is a rare primary neoplasm affecting the serosal membranes. Epidemiological studies have shown that incidence in many Western countries has increased by as much as 50% since the 1970s. MME related to asbestosis was first recognised in the 1870s. A report by Wagner et al found a link between asbestos exposure and MME in a study of workers at a crocidolite mining area in South Africa. Wives of asbestos workers are also known to develop MME after being in contact with contaminated clothing.
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