Asbestos companies deliberately avoided using the words “cancerous” or “carcinogen” on their products’ warning labels.
Millions of people in the U.S. have been exposed to asbestos, and it is estimated that approximately 3,000 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma each year as a result of that exposure.
Products containing asbestos fibers were used in a variety of occupational settings throughout the 20th century. Some continue to be used today. The carcinogenic material became popular because it was affordable and was resistant to heat, fire and chemical damage.
Industries and Trades Associated with Asbestos Exposure
Products containing asbestos were commonly used on construction sites, in industrial locations, in power plants and on military bases and vessels such as Navy ships and submarines. As a result many workers were unknowingly exposed to asbestos. Asbestos dust is very fine, and in many cases, can only be seen through a microscope.
Asbestos fibers can be carried through the air which means that people do not have to directly handle asbestos materials to come into contact with the deadly carcinogen. There are many documented cases where people were exposed indirectly by merely being present on a job site. This is known as bystander exposure. Even more astounding is that asbestos fibers were often carried away from job sites on the clothes of workers, thus exposing wives and children to asbestos.
Even after the asbestos companies clearly knew about the dangers associated with asbestos exposure, minimal safety standards were enforced. Several companies deliberately avoided using the words “cancerous” or “carcinogen” on their products’ warning labels to avoid any loss of sales and offered their workers no safety protection.
During the 35 years that we have fought the asbestos industry, our mesothelioma lawyers have amassed a wealth of internal documents containing proof that asbestos companies were fully aware that exposure to their products caused diseases such as mesothelioma and asbestosis. These documents date back to the early 20th century, but some companies continued use of many products until the mid 1980s.
Occupational Exposure: Baron and Budd went up against the asbestos industry on behalf of a construction worker in California who developed mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos in joint compound. The man received over $10.5 million after Baron and Budd proved that the asbestos companies were at fault for his mesothelioma. To view more of Baron and Budd's case results, visit here.
Construction Products Containing Asbestos
Asbestos exposure is regularly associated with the professions of carpenters, drywallers, electricians, pipe fitters, shipyard workers, naval workers, machinists, plumbers and many similar “trades.” Workers in these trades were historically exposed regularly to asbestos.
Asbestos in Modern-Day Materials
Unfortunately, many companies still use materials containing asbestos today. Chrysotile asbestos is still used in construction and imported into the United States, primarily for roofing and other construction items. Products containing this type of asbestos include chrysotile-cement building materials, friction materials, gaskets and certain plastics.
Other products that still may contain asbestos are floor tiles, thermal insulation, gears and industrial boiler room aprons.