1906

1906 – In the annual report of the Chief Inspector of Factories and Workshops, a London physician finds asbestos in the lungs of an asbestos worker who died of pulmonary fibrosis. This was the first proven case of an asbestos-related death to be reported. View PDF Document...

1918

1918 – The U.S. Department of Labor released an article called “Mortality from Respiratory Diseases in Dusty Trades,” which reports an “unusually high death rate” among asbestos workers. View PDF Document...

1930

Dr. E. R. A. Merewether, U.K. Medical Inspector of Factories, and C. W. Price, Engineering Inspector of Factories, released the “Report on Effects of Asbestos Dust on the Lungs,” that stated asbestos exposure imposed a “definite occupational risk among asbestos workers as a class.” View PDF Document...

1935

1935 – Correspondence from an asbestos industry publication to the president of a major asbestos manufacturing company revealed that the asbestos company requested to hide any information regarding disease in workers caused by asbestos exposure. View PDF Document...

1935

1935 – This document is an internal memo from the medical department of a Fortune 500 company discussing the safety levels of asbestos. The document shows that the medical department finds evidence that asbestos is linked to mesothelioma and also states that the current safety threshold is way to high and creates a very dangerous working environment for workers using the company’s products. View PDF Document...

1936

1936 – A Fortune 500 company purchased a smaller manufacturing company that produced asbestos-based brakes as well as its subsidiary. The company became aware of the carcinogenic nature of the companies’ products when it first acquired the brake company. The purchased company commenced a series of correspondence with the director of the division of occupational hygiene on the hazards of asbestos. View PDF Document...

1947

1947 – Several executives from an asbestos company met to discuss a medical study the company conducted on the harmful effects of asbestos exposure. The executives concluded they would not publish the results without the asbestos company’s consent. Further, any publication “would not include any objectionable material, for example, any relation between asbestos and cancer.” View PDF Document...

1948

1948 – After a large asbestos products manufacturing company examined the results of a medical study showing links between asbestos and cancer, the president of the company sent a letter, with this quote, discussing how the company should hide the asbestos-cancer link. View PDF Document...

1954

1954 – A Special notice reveals early cognizance of the dangers of the mineral through the president of a major asbestos manufacturing company from the 1930s to 1954, and a member of the parent company’s Board of Directors after 1954. View PDF Document...

1956

1956 – A major asbestos products manufacturing company ordered a medical study to test the health effects of asbestos exposure. The results of the study were kept secret because they revealed that asbestos exposure caused harmful and even fatal results. View PDF Document...

1958

1958 – A quote in a letter from the National Gypsum Company to several executives of another major asbestos company confirming the harmful effects of asbestos exposure. View PDF Document...

1966

1966 – A U.K. medical study was released called “Mortality from Lung Cancer in Asbestos Workers,” that conclusively shows that asbestos is carcinogenic. View PDF Document...

1966

1966 – An internal memo and accompanying toxicology report was disseminated among the executives of a major corporation to discuss the “sensitive” nature of using asbestos products. The memo, entitled “Asbestos Toxicology,” examined several outside reports of the carcinogenic nature of the material. Still, the company decided they would continue with business as usual. View PDF Document...

1966

1966 – This is a quote from a letter an asbestos company sent to a man who was suffering from asbestos disease after working with the company’s products. "My answer to the problem is: if you have enjoyed a good life while working with asbestos products, why not die from it. There’s got to be some cause." View PDF Document...

1966

1966 – A corporate chemical manufacturing company acquired and absorbed the Western Mineral Products company of Minneapolis, MN. Western Mineral purchased vermiculite from Zonolite for many years and had corresponded with the latter on asbestos-related health problems. View PDF Document...

1967

1967 – A report entitled “Asbestos as a Health Hazard in the United Kingdom” was written and distributed by the special products department of a major asbestos manufacturing company. The report goes into detail on the types of deaths associated with asbestos. The report even breaks down death attributed to specific asbestos-related disease. Still the company did not find it necessary to halt distribution or warn the users of their products. View PDF Document...

1967

1967 – A personal and confidential memo between executives reveals the finding of a trip to Libby, Montana to evaluate the accident reports that were swarming around the asbestos mining town. The report reveals evidence that company executives were aware of the effects that their asbestos mine was having on the people of Libby, Montana. View PDF Document...

1968

1968- This document is an internal memo from the medical department of a Fortune 500 company discussing the safety levels of asbestos. The document shows that the medical department finds evidence that asbestos is linked to mesothelioma and also states that the current safety threshold is way to high and creates a very dangerous working environment for workers using the company’s products. View PDF Document...

1968

1968 – An asbestos Product Description was generated by the manufacturing company to highlight the selling points of this product. This report came after several previous medical reports described the toxic properties of the product, but the description still holds that a worker could work a 40-hour work week as long as asbestos dust particles were kept at or below 5 million particles per cubit foot of air. But as seen in an internal memo in the same year, the company received information that this current safety level is much too high and should be adjusted lower. View PDF Document...

1969

1969 – This massive asbestos company released a Calidria asbestos toxicology report reaffirming that people exposed to no more than 5 million particles per cubic foot of air would not develop asbestos-related diseases. This is well after a 1968 memo from their own medical department that stated these levels were way to high and would most likely result in asbestosis and mesothelioma. View PDF Document...

1970

1970 – An internal memo from a major producer of asbestos products illustrates how the company knew the level of exposure at which asbestosis and mesothelioma occur. It also documents how the company conducted animal testing to determine how asbestos exposure affects the human body. The results of these tests show that the specific type of asbestos, Calidria Asbestos, is more harmful than other types of asbestos.
View PDF Document...

1970

1970 – In a letter addressed to the Gypsum Association Safety Committee, an asbestos company admits to the danger of asbestos and reveals their intentions to place the blame for asbestos disease in workers on the employer.
View PDF Document...

1970

1970 – An internal company memo reveals that asbestos products manufacturers made the decision to delay placing a warning on their product for as long as possible. View PDF Document...

1973

1973 – A top producer of asbestos responds to an outside medical report conducted on Calidria asbestos, a product that the company has distributed for years. In the response, the medical department of the company advises that the report be altered and that less severe language be used when describing the health risks of their asbestos. The company uses a variety of sources to argue their point, however they do not reference their own internal medical documents that affirm the toxicity of asbestos even at the permitted levels of exposure. View PDF Document...

1974

1974 – In an internal memo, a Fortune 500 Executive describes his visit to Mt. Sinai hospital in order to examine the effects of asbestos exposure on drywall workers. The report discusses how those who have developed asbestos-related diseases were exposed to various levels of asbestos fibers, including levels that the company had promoted as safe levels. The document also demonstrates executives of the company were trying to shield this information from the public. View PDF Document...

1974

1974 – An internal document reveals that a global corporation knew they violated safety regulations and had failed to protect their employees from asbestos exposure and, as a result, their health was at risk. "Not only are we violating the existing regulation… but we are also failing to protect our employees from asbestos exposure." View PDF Document...

1975

1975 – An internal document shows an asbestos company’s decision to not add the recommended cancer warning to the label. "Cancer is a very emotional word… We cannot predict with certainty what effect the use of the proposed label will have on our business, but the general feeling here is that it is likely to vary somewhere between serious and fatal." View PDF Document...

1977

1977 – A medical study ordered by a corporate asbestos manufacturer shows the fatal effects of asbestos on lab rats. The conclusive report details the carcinogenic properties of tremolite talc, the type of asbestos used by the company. The report also details the deadly effects of other popular types of asbestos, including chrysotile, amosite, anthophyllite and crocidolite. View PDF Document...

1980

1980 – A Calidria asbestos sales report reveals that a major asbestos company was experiencing record high sales and fully expected the sales trend to continue throughout the year. The report cites that sales were good despite continuous reports on the harmful effects of asbestos exposure. The report demonstrates in detail the company’s unwillingness to acknowledge the life-threatening effects of asbestos at the risk of damaging profits. View PDF Document...

1980

1980 – The Medical Director of an asbestos manufacturer requests that a doctor consider eliminating the word asbestos from chest x-ray reports so that they do not single out the word ‘asbestos’ and heighten the working community’s awareness about past asbestos exposure. View PDF Document...

If you are suffering from mesothelioma and are wondering who’s at fault, you’ve come to the right place.

Some of the largest corporations in the country are responsible for the epidemic of asbestos-related disease and deaths. The truth about what these companies knew finally came out because of the work of Baron & Budd and other tenacious trial attorneys.

Although asbestos manufacturers knew about the risk of asbestos exposure for decades, they tried very hard to keep that information private. Some companies paid for scientific research but claimed ownership of it to prevent its publication. Some “requested” that any information on the hazards of asbestos be kept confidential and not published. Others decided to take what one called an “ostrich-like attitude”—choosing to bury their heads in the sand and ignore the risks their products could pose.

The asbestos companies knew their products caused cancer yet purposefully hid the truth from anyone and anything that would have diminished their profits.

More than a hundred years ago, asbestos was recognized as a cause of death and disease among workers. In 1898, British factory inspectors recognized that asbestos exposure was a health risk for workers. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in 1918 an “unusually high death rate” among asbestos workers. And in the 1920s, scientists were paying increased attention to asbestosis, the disease named for the mineral that causes it. In 1930, two scientists, Drs. Merewether and Price, published an historic report on the asbestos textile industry and found a “definite occupational risk among asbestos workers as a class.”

In the 1930s, scientists began to connect asbestos and cancer. Lung cancer was identified as an occupational disease of asbestos workers in 1938. And by 1945, it was accepted by medical and scientific communities around the globe that asbestos is a carcinogen. The link between asbestos and mesothelioma, a devastating and aggressive asbestos-related cancer, was reported in 1960. Finally, in 1964, Dr. Irving Selikoff presented a now famous study of insulators at a well-attended and widely publicized conference in New York City.

Asbestos exposure was not an accident then and it is not an accident now.


*While this timeline is meant to illustrate the depth and length of the asbestos cover-up, it is by no means a comprehensive display of the evidence that Baron and Budd has collected.