The History of Asbestos Use And Exposure

Asbestos has been in use since the late 19th century. It is composed of thin, fibrous crystals that can be separated into thread and woven. It is also strong, flexible and resistant to heat and chemicals, all of which made it very popular for industrial use. Thousands of products containing asbestos exist today.

Although extremely durable when undisturbed, asbestos fiber forms a dust when broken and this dust becomes airborne where it can remain for some time. These particles can be easily inhaled or swallowed and then become lodged in the tissues of the body where they may remain latent, or inactive, for up to 50 years.

Asbestos fiber was first linked to cancer in the 1920's. By 1989, the Environmental Protection Agency had banned all new uses of asbestos. However, uses of asbestos established prior to 1989 were still permitted. Asbestos use remains highly regulated. Yet, there remain hundreds of thousands of buildings in the United States erected prior to the asbestos ban, as well as millions of Americans already exposed to the substance.

Asbestos is used in the building and construction industries to strengthen cement and plastics. It is used in insulation, fireproofing and sound proofing. It is used by shipbuilders to insulate pipes and boilers and by car manufacturers to make clutch pads and brake shoes. It is used to make electrical wire, industrial filters, table pads, underlying flooring, ceiling and floor tile, paint, caulk, adhesives, plastics, and fire-resistant fabrics such as blankets and curtains.

High risk workers include those in the following industries:

  • Construction and building
  • Textiles
  • Demolition
  • Auto workers - particularly brake repair
  • Shipbuilders
  • Workers in power plants, oil and gas refineries, railroads and steel mills
  • Navy Veterans, Merchant Marines and Longshoremen

Families of people working in any of the above types of employment, through second hand exposure (hair, clothes), are at risk, and if they receive a diagnosis of mesothelioma, they may have a claim.

Believe You Might Have A Claim? Contact Us And We'll Figure It Out Together.

Do not leave potential compensation on the table if you were diagnosed with mesothelioma. Contact our attorneys, even if you are unsure of your claim. Our lawyers will listen to you tell your story and help determine if you have a claim in a free initial consultation.

Call our office in New York at 518-631-4139 or 888-324-7261 or send us an email to schedule your free consultation.