In the 1920’s, the United States discovered the many benefits that were hidden a group of minerals known as asbestos. Over time, and especially after World War II, America found more and more ways that this substance can be used. It was a cheap, strong form of insulation that could be used to boost the effectiveness of thousands of products, which would help businesses everywhere. But it wasn’t long before the negative effects of asbestos was discovered.
What Exactly Is Asbestos?
Asbestos is the short name for a group of minerals which occur naturally in certain places around the world. It is made up of as silicon, hydrogen, oxygen, and various metals, making it extremely strong, yet flexible, resistant to heat and fire damage, and an insulator (rather than a conductor because of its low level of electrical conductibility).
There are six different forms of asbestos: chrysotile (or “white asbestos”, which is the most commonly used form), tremolite (or “brown asbestos”), crocidolite (“or blue asbestos,” which is seen as the most dangerous form), anthrophyllite, and actinolite. Although these six different forms contain the same basic properties, only the first three were ideal for commercial and industrial use.
What Happens if I “Disturb” It?
If disturbed, the thin, almost microscopic fibers that asbestos yields can remain airborne for many days at a time. So, if these fibers are constantly being disturbed – such as in a factory, mill, or mine – there is a very small chance that a worker will not come into contact with these fibers. If they breathed in or swallowed the fibers, they can cause life-threatening diseases, such as mesothelioma.
What is Mesothelioma?
Malignant mesothelioma is the name of a group of cancers which are caused by asbestos exposure. Each year there are nearly 300,000 new cases of this disease. Out of all of those cases, the form of mesothelioma that is most common is known as pleural mesothelioma, meaning it affects the protective linings of the lungs and/or the diaphragm. In its end stages there is often no way to treat this terrible disease.
Should I Take Legal Action?
Any and all victims of wrongful asbestos exposure should consider filing a lawsuit against the company who is responsible for the terminal illness they are now suffering from. Back when the negative effects of asbestos were first discovered companies should’ve done more to protect the lives of their workers and anyone else who would come into contact with the asbestos containing products, victims should not have to suffer for the mistakes of these negligent companies.