Asbestos Industry

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Little was known about asbestos until the late 1970s, when cases of mesothelioma and asbestosis skyrocketed in the United States. Asbestos is a fibrous mineral found naturally in the environment. Its thermal resistant, indestructible characteristics made it useful in the business world. The substance was used for insulation purposes in walls and was commonly placed around electrical wires. In an effort to submit to labor union demands to provide better fire regulations, many business owners purchased fire resistant clothing comprised of these hazardous fibers. Pipes, vinyl tiles, and other fabrics also contained the mineral. It was deemed a miracle substance for people in need of cheap, heat resistant material that could withstand constant wear and tear from everyday use.

Asbestos proved to be more problematic than helpful. Over the years, as workers continued to breathe and accidentally ingest the fibers, the lungs, abdominal cavities, and other body parts were being damaged. Asbestos is a long, flexible structure, easily lodged into sensitive tissues surrounding the internal organs. When this has occurred over an extensive period of time, a person risks developing mesothelioma, a malignant cancer associated with this substance, or asbestosis, a chronic inflammation of the lungs caused by scar tissue from asbestos. The prognosis for these diseases is usually terminal, and there are few treatments available to halt their progression.

Susceptibility to these diseases depends, almost always, on one\'s occupation. Asbestos-related diseases can be traced back to specific industries, which commonly used the substance. As such, mesothelioma and asbestosis are deemed occupational diseases because contact most often occurs at the workplace. After World War Two, asbestos was used heavily in industries because of its world renowned characteristics. Automobile industries began using asbestos in brake pads and clutches in an effort to reduce friction. Construction is one of the most common industries to use asbestos. Roofing materials, tiles, and cements all contained the substance. Although the United States Navy was well equipped with the best ships possible, shipyards were typically highly concentrated with asbestos. Boiler rooms and steam pipes were resistant to fires as they were lined with the material. Few understood the dangers and detrimental side effects that would later develop from asbestos products.

Asbestos is still used today, particularly in older houses built before 1980. These houses may contain textured paints, siding, insulation, floor boards, or wood burning stoves, all which have been known to contain abnormally high levels of asbestos. When these substances are heating, dust particles can cause serious, life-altering damage. However, legislative reforms have increased public awareness of the substance. As a result, states are enforcing inspection regulations for businesses and reform movements for the removal of asbestos in public facilities. People are more consciously aware of the need to have inspections conducted regularly in their homes.

Business owners were informed of the dangers of asbestos since the late 1970s. At this point, the connections between asbestos and mesothelioma were confirmed. Although there were no laws put in place regarding employee safety, many took these new findings seriously. An overwhelming majority, however, ignored health department suggestions to have the substance removed, causing long-term consequences for employees. Consequently, many of these negligent business owners are facing lawsuits for person injuries related to asbestos exposure. Widow are claiming unlawful death suits, and employers are forced to provide settlements to victims.

If you feel you might be eligible for compensation, contact an asbestos attorney right away to handle the legalities for you. It is a lengthy process, but once a settlement has been reached, you are likely to be thankful you took those critical steps. An attorney who is experienced in this field can uphold your rights in court and guarantee reasonable compensation for the financial well-being of your family when you are no longer able to care for them.


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