Histological slides prepared by Dr J C Wagner, 1950-1991

1950-1991 in Johannesburg and Llandough
Christopher Wagner

Wooden cabinet containing histological slides prepared by Dr J C Wagner, 1950-91, including original material relating to cases described in his 1960 paper making a causal link between exposure to blue asbestos and the lung cancer, mesothelioma. (see stroke records)

In 1960, pathologist Dr Christopher Wagner (1923–2000) presented a significant research paper on ‘Diffuse pleural mesothelioma and asbestos exposure in the North Western Cape province’. It was published in the British Journal of Industrial Medicine. In this paper, Wagner, and his colleagues C. A. Sleggs and P. Marchand, made a causal link between exposure to blue asbestos (crocidolite) and the lung cancer, mesothelioma. In 28 of the cases presented in the work, there was an association with the asbestos mountains in the Cape Province of South Africa. This cabinet contains microscope slides of human tissues, many of which show the harmful effects of asbestos.

The paper caused a furore. It has impacted industry worldwide and the dangers of asbestos have been accepted. Control, containment and disposal of the widespread material is an ongoing public health concern.

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Science Museum: Mathematics: The Winton Gallery

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Anatomy & Pathology
Object Number:
Cabinet (closed): 405 mm x 466 mm x 425 mm, 21.4 kg
Cabinet (open): 405 mm x 860 mm x 450 mm, 21.4 kg
human remains
  • furnishing and equipment
  • furnishing - artefact
  • case furniture
Dr J C Wagner
Permanent collection

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