Asbestos exposure and the illness that come with it are devastating, but where did it all start? Today, Asbestos Abatement Services is going to give you a brief history of asbestos, asbestos exposure, mesothelioma, and asbestos-related illnesses. Masses of people have been exposed to asbestos and have illnesses such as Mesothelioma, cancer, asbestosis, and severe respiratory problems. These diseases can lead to death. Many people were exposed through work, but it can also be found inside homes. Asbestos is a dangerous fiber that can easily be inhaled or ingested. Below we will discuss the earliest uses and how it has affected us over time.
Asbestos is a naturally occurring fiber, so it was readily used by people throughout the ages. People realized how durable and functional it was for many different materials. It was added with other materials to create lamp wicks, in the embalming process, and even in clay to strengthen pottery. Early on, it was documented that people who handled asbestos fibers in looms for clothing, suffered severe respiratory problems. People working in quarries started wearing respiratory masks made from sheep’s bladders to ensure they did not inhale the dust and asbestos fibers.
Why were asbestos fibers still used?
With the many advances in medical knowledge and the proof of illnesses connected to asbestos exposure, people still used asbestos fibers. It had special qualities that made it necessary in earlier times. It was used in castles to prevent the spread of fires, in factories and steam broilers because of its high heat tolerance; it was also used in large ships. By the end of the 1800s, there was a boom in asbestos fibers. There were many asbestos mining operations throughout the world. In 1897 doctors began to notice more links to asbestos, illnesses, and death. In 1906 an autopsy was the first documented death from asbestos. In 1910 insurance companies began reducing coverage for people working in industries that used asbestos. In the 1920s doctors finally recognized asbestosis, by 1960 mesothelioma was found to be caused by asbestos exposure. Asbestos laws have been passed since the 1980s. However, asbestos is still legal in the United States. It is still found in small quantities of certain construction and heat-resistant products.