By Aleksandra Aronova and Samantha Jenkins
Asbestos is a collection of six different naturally-found minerals that cause damage due to its microscopic makeup of small fibrous crystals being breathed in. When used for commercial purposes, the wear and tear of the product disintegrates the mineral, allowing it to affect the unknowing victim. Asbestos products have been used worldwide because of their ability to insulate, resist different weather conditions or temperatures, fire, and chemicals. Among the key benefits is that it does not conduct electricity, making it vital for construction purposes.
Asbestos was used throughout various industries for over two centuries. It has been used for strengthening cement, plastics, insulation, roofing, fireproofing, sound absorption, boilers, steam pipes, hot water pipes, automobile parts such as break shoes and clutch pads, ceiling, floor tiles, paints, coatings, adhesives, garden products, and talc-containing crayons.
Regulation started as early as the 1970s when the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission disallowed the use of asbestos for wallboard patching compounds and gas fireplaces. In addition, the government banned the use of asbestos for construction materials in 1972. In 1979, manufacturers of electric hairdryers caught the ripple of the safety precautions and discontinued products that contained asbestos. Ten years later in 1989, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, made the decision to ban all new asbestos containing products on the market. Regulations required for the removal or encasement of all asbestos products nationwide.
Even though asbestos product production has been discontinued, its remains are still found. When asbestos fibers deteriorate over time it poses a threat. Asbestos exposure may cause health ailments such as asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma. According to the KCIC, a liability consultation company, mesothelioma diagnoses linked to asbestos exposure are up by 10.7% since 2016. Even in 2017, the claims on the effects of asbestos are one of the top searches for medical assistance.
The Law Offices of Rudolph F. X. Migliore, P.C. has handled hundreds of asbestos related cases over the past years. Ensuring that our clients are aware of the prevalence of asbestos products in their daily environment is the first step towards protecting their health and family.