Crocidolite was mined and milled at Wittenoom Gorge in Western Australia from 1943 to 1966. Between 1960-1964 and 1980-1982, the estimated incidence of malignant mesothelioma in Western Australia rose from 0.6/100 000 in men and less than 0.1/100 000 in women, aged 35 years or older, to 6.6/100 000 in men and 0.7/100 000 in women in this age group. Overall, 97 (70%) of 138 patients with malignant mesothelioma had definite or probable exposure to asbestos; 76 of these (55%) to Western Australian crocidolite. Of the latter 76 patients, 56 had worked in the mine or mill at Wittenoom and 4 had non-occupational exposure in the Wittenoom area; the remaining 16 had been exposed to crocidolite elsewhere in the State. There were only 4 (3%) patients with malignant peritoneal mesothelioma, of whom three had been exposed to crocidolite.