Even though manufacturers of products containing asbestos knew those products could cause cancer, they continued to put people in danger.
Asbestos exposure has led to one of the most under-publicized, yet highly devastating public health crises of the last few years. Because they worked with asbestos products or near them, a staggering number of men and women have been diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases such as mesothelioma. Due to the asbestos companies’ self-serving actions, countless families not just across the nation but around the world have suffered tragically due to exposure to asbestos.
Asbestos Disease Patiently Waits
How could asbestos companies continue to legally produce cancer-causing materials for years and years? The answer to that question has a great deal to do with the extensive latency period of asbestos-related diseases. Once asbestos fibers are ingested or inhaled, the carcinogen begins to slowly develop. One of the subtle dangers of asbestos is that it can take decades until symptoms of asbestos-related diseases start to appear. Many sufferers, as a result, do not automatically identify asbestos exposure as the cause of their illnesses.
The Unfolding of the Asbestos Crisis
At one time, asbestos was an extremely popular product. Not only was it cheap to produce, it was also extremely resistant to heat. The material was primarily used in construction sites across the United States. There are several materials that comprise asbestos, including anthophyllite asbestos, actinolite asbestos, chrysotile, crocidolite, tremolite asbestos, amosite, or any combination of these substances that have either been altered or chemically treated.
Throughout the 20th century, the use of asbestos in the U.S. was, to put it mildly, extensive. Myriad applications used products containing asbestos, including industrial sites such as power plants and construction sites, as well as military vessels. When workers were exposed to the fibers, they would something bring the fibers home on their clothes. As a result, wives and children were often exposed as the dust was distributed due to cleaning or other types of movements.
The dangers of asbestos were suspected as early as the turn of the century, and then confirmed by medical reports during the middle of the century. These reports noted that the inhalation and then ingestion of asbestos fibers caused cancer. Although asbestos manufacturers and the companies that used the material were well aware of how dangerous asbestos is, they not only hid the truth from the public, they also continued to use products containing asbestos. Incredibly, its use continues to this day even though the health hazards have been well documented.