While asbestos is a natural mineral, it is a deadly substance which gained widespread usage in the 20th Century as an ingredient in thousands of different construction products and everyday household items. Most people working with the “magic mineral,” as asbestos was commonly called, had no idea of its potential danger. Many companies and manufacturers did know, however, and failed to inform and protect workers, their families and the public.
Asbestos is an extremely fibrous mineral and mining, milling, processing, or use of asbestos and its products create many small fibers. Because of their thin shape and small size, the asbestos fibers easily pass through the body’s natural defenses designed to trap debris within the respiratory systems before reaching the lungs. Once inside the lungs, the asbestos fibers lodge into the sensitive tissue of the lungs where they can cause scarring, mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis.
In many countries, asbestos is still mined, processed, and used. In a growing number of others, asbestos is either banned or its use is severely restricted. In the United States, hundreds if not thousands of various construction and consumer products were manufactured with asbestos as an ingredient for decades. Many of these products are still in place today in our homes and offices.
Between 1900 and the mid 1980s asbestos was used in thousands of different products. During the 20th century, more than 30 million tons of asbestos were used in industrial facilities, homes, schools, shipyards, steel mills, power plants, oilfields and commercial buildings in the United States.
While safety regulations established by OSHA and the EPA in the 1970s has dramatically reduced asbestos exposures, people continue to be exposed to asbestos every day in the United States because of the broad use of the material throughout the 20th century. Astonishingly, there still is no complete ban on the use of asbestos in the United States.
Just a few of the trades that were commonly exposed to asbestos include: insulator, pipe fitter, millwright, electrician, carpenter, sheetrocker, boilermaker, operator, roofer, plasterer, oilfield worker, railroad worker, welder, laborer, plumber, floor tile installer, HVAC repairman, ironworker, machinist mate, fireman, ship fitter, roustabout, roughneck, derrick man, mudman, tool pusher.
Below is a general list of just a few of the types of asbestos containing products which were manufactured during the 20th century.
General List of 20th Century Asbestos Containing Products
Acoustical panels, Acoustical plaster, Acoustical tile , Adhesive, Asbestos board Asbestos canvas, Asbestos cloth, Asbestos cord, Asbestos corrugated sheets, Asbestos curtains, Asbestos felt, Asbestos fiber, Asbestos finishing cement, Asbestos flatboard, Asbestos furnace tape, Asbestos gaskets, Asbestos gloves, Asbestos insulating blankets, Asbestos insulating cement, Asbestos insulation, Asbestos millboard, Asbestos mittens, Asbestos packing, Asbestos pads, Asbestos panels, Asbestos paper, Asbestos spray, Asbestos tape, Asbestos textile, Asbestos tiles, Asbestos yarn, Attic insulation, Automobile hood liners, Automobile brakes, Automobile sound deadeners, Block Board Boilers, Cables, Calcium silicate insulation, Castables, Ceiling tiles, Cement, Cement pipe, Ceramic tile, Clutches ,Corrugated asbestos sheets, Drywall joint compound, Duct adhesive, Drilling mud additives, Electrical arc chutes, Electrical circuit breakers, Electrical control boxes, Electrical insulators, Fake snow Finishing cement, Fireproofing, Flexible duct connectors, Furnace cement, Millboard, Oilfield drilling mud additives, Packing, Packing material, Paint, Paper, Pipe covering/pipe insulation, Plaster, Pumps, Putty, Raw asbestos fiber, Refractory cements, Roofing felt, Roofing paper, Rope packing, Sheetrock, Shingles, Sound shield, Spackle, Talc powder, Tape, Tape and bed joint compound, Turbines, Valve stem packing, Valves, Vermiculite, Vinyl asbestos floor tile, Waterproofing and Wires.
For over 15 years, Ben DuBose, has fought for mesothelioma victims across the United States. He has seen first hand the terrible tragedy this rare asbestos-related cancer has inflicted on American workers, veterans and their families.
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