Asbestos is a mineral that occurs naturally in the environment. It is now known as the primary cause of mesothelioma, a rare and often fatal cancer that originates in the lining of the lungs, heart, and abdomen.
Properties of Asbestos
Before the dangers of asbestos were fully realized, this material was used extensively in a variety of different industries, including construction, automotive manufacturing, and shipbuilding. It could be found in literally hundreds of products. Not only was it inexpensive, it was very versatile and could be manipulated for a variety of purposes. Most often used as an insulator, asbestos was used in many different environments and was known for its strength and damage resistant properties. With characteristics like heat resistance, acid resistance, and extreme flexibility, it became very valuable to companies for its overall durability and cost-effectiveness.
In the 1970s, the use of asbestos was banned as scientists and medical researchers discovered its toxic effects, most notably establishing a direct link between asbestos exposure and the development of the deadly cancer known as mesothelioma. Asbestos mining became heavily restricted. It became illegal for businesses to use this “magic mineral” material that they had depended on for so long.
Despite the overwhelming proof that asbestos had the potential to cause devastating health problems, many companies simply refused to discontinue use of the material. Its carcinogenic effects would continue to affect workers in manufacturing and other industries for years. Asbestos is still prevalent today in old buildings and the environment.
If you or a loved one worked in any of the following industries and developed mesothelioma, you may be entitled to significant compensation from a former employer or asbestos manufacturer:
- Asbestos mining
- Asbestos textile manufacturing
- Drywall removal
- HVAC repair
- Automotive manufacturing
- Home building
Today, asbestos injury attorneys throughout the United States are helping victims of illegal asbestos practices recover financial compensation. With extensive investigation and expert resources, law firms can uncover unsafe working conditions and hold companies accountable for endangering their employees. For specialized knowledge of asbestos effects and laws, consult with an experienced legal team in your area.