History of Asbestos Use and Exposure

History of Asbestos Use and Exposure

The toxic chemical we know today as asbestos has been used for thousands of years for the same reasons it has been used in recent years, that is, its resistance to flame. Since ancient times, many cultures have used asbestos as an insulation, a cloth, and a flame retardant. Only in the past few decades however have we truly seen the serious side effects of asbestos exposure, namely mesothelioma and asbestosis.

The detrimental health effects of asbestos have also been documented for an extensive period of time. Many early reports of sickness caused by asbestos exposure reported the same symptoms as mesothelioma. Some called it a “sickness of the lungs,” but it was not until the early 1900s when medical professionals began to agree that asbestos was the cause of a specific cancer in the lungs.

Seemingly oblivious to the linkage between asbestos and lung cancer, asbestos was used in construction for many more years. Residential, commercial and industrial construction all relied heavily on asbestos up until around the 1970s. Records indicate that asbestos was used extensively in the construction of U.S. Navy ships, which affected a large percentage of men and women serving on those vessels. These materials were widely used in the engine and boiler rooms, as well as other areas below deck for fire safety purposes.

Because of this high exposure rate, veterans make up a large percentage of mesothelioma vicitms. Statistically, 30 percent of mesothelioma victims are veterans and Navy veterans account for 16 percent of asbestos-related lung cancer.

Another group affected by asbestos exposure has been those who have worked in asbestos mines or mines contaminated with asbestos. This trend has also been noted historically; many researchers found that people working in asbestos mines led unnaturally short lives comparably speaking. Despite the research and knowlege of many scientists and companies, many workers were continually exploited in the manufacturing and mining processes up to and past the time when laws were put in place to protect workers.

Mesothelioma is a rare but deadly form of lung cancer that is almost always caused by prolonged exposure to asbestos. No known treatment can currently completely cure the effects of mesothelioma, which is why it is imperative that a patient recently diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer locate an experienced mesothelioma lawyer who can provide a free legal consultation as to the development of a possible mesothelioma lawsuit. Developing litigation of this nature may result in monetary funds being dispersed to a victim, who can then use such compensation to pay for costly medical treatments and increase quality of life during their cancer.

LegalView.com provides a wealth of resources for individuals seeking legal help. Information regarding mesothelioma is available at LegalView.com’s mesothelioma information portal which provides an expansive selection of articles as well as a contact form fo an experienced mesothelioma lawyer.


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