Asbestos, a toxic silicate material that is known to cause mesothelioma, has been in use for millennia. Now, however, the dangerous properties of asbestos are well-known and the material is strictly regulated. Learn more about how and why asbestos was used before the 1970s--and still remains in some locations today.
Why Was Asbestos Valued?
While the use of asbestos has been traced back to prehistoric times, the substance did not become widespread until the Industrial Revolution of the 19th century. During this time and beyond, asbestos became widely prized for its fireproofing properties. These properties made the substance essential to many industries, including automotive, construction, manufacturing, power, and more.
Additionally, asbestos had a wide range of uses as well as a significant resistance to chemicals, heat, water, and electricity, which made it seem like the perfect industrial material. However, this material was soon discovered not to be as perfect as believed.
When Was Asbestos Found To Be Dangerous?
In the late 1800s, an Austrian doctor linked lung troubles in a patient to the inhalation of asbestos dust. A later report drafted in England cited that widespread damage and injury of the lungs occurred due to the “dusty” conditions of an asbestos mill. Later, in 1906, the first reported death caused by asbestos was recorded by Dr. Montague Murray in London. An autopsy of the victim revealed significant amounts of asbestos fibers in his lungs. As early as 1908, insurance companies in the United States began decreasing coverage and benefits for those working in industries that used asbestos, which signals that the dangers of asbestos were starting to become widely known. Sadly, however, it would not be until the 1970s that the U.S. government implemented widespread regulations for the substance.
The late restrictions imposed on asbestos in the U.S. mean that many workers were needlessly exposed to the substance and developed deadly cases of mesothelioma. Indeed, many of the patients suffering from mesothelioma now were exposed decades ago, before the restrictions were put in place.
Mesothelioma is a devastating disease that is difficult to treat. If you or someone you love developed mesothelioma after asbestos exposure in the home or on the job, Shrader & Associates L.L.P. is here to help. Our mission is to help mesothelioma patients obtain justice and recover the compensation they need for high-quality medical care. Learn how we may help you.
Call Shrader & Associates L.L.P. at (877) 958-7920 to schedule a consultation.