Asbestos Exposure and Cancer

Asbestos Exposure Asbestos exposure is the primary cause of mesothelioma cancer. Inhaled or ingested asbestos fibers may cause an inflammation of internal tissue and disrupt organ function which leads to the development of mesothelioma. Asbestos products were used extensively throughout the 20th century in a wide variety of applications. Asbestos companies continued to produce these products even after they were known to be hazardous and harmful to workers and their families. Many of these products were responsible for asbestos exposure sustained by both the individuals who manufactured the products as well as those who used them at commercial, industrial and military jobsites. Renovation and construction both at home and in schools and other public facilities also posed high risk areas for asbestos exposure

Asbestos related cancer is common among military veterans who we exposed on naval ships, in shipyards and at military bases. Naval ships where exposure occurred include aircraft carriers, battleships, destroyers, submarines, warships and others. Some prominent shipyards where asbestos was prevalent include Brooklyn Navy Yard, Norfolk Navy Shipyard, Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, Long Beach Naval Shipyard and Hunters Point Naval Shipyard. At commercial and industrial locations including refineries, power plants, steel mills, auto production facilities and large construction sites, many workers were put at risk. Some of the occupations of workers at risk include electricians, plumbers, boilermakers, carpenters, mechanics , machinists and more. Additionally, if you lived with someone who was regularly exposed to asbestos and washed their clothes, you could be at risk for second hand asbestos exposure.

Asbestos in Manufacturing

The history of using asbestos in modern manufacturing dates back to the middle of the nineteenth century, when it was prized for its ability to withstand heat and extreme durability. These prominent characteristics made asbestos an essential material used during the Industrial Revolution, finding use in a variety of products to make them fireproof, chemically resistant and stronger. Furthermore, asbestos was naturally-occurring and relatively easy to collect, making it an ideal additive that was also inexpensive.
As a result, countless American companies utilized this material, accounting for numerous products that were contaminated with this chemical. One study estimated that 3,000 products contained asbestos. However, the presence of this material in these products is highly dangerous, as it can become dislodged and infect users. Although knowledge of the danger of asbestos dates back to its earliest use, it wasn’t until the beginning of the twentieth century that doctors began to research the effects and document the diseases that developed as a result of this asbestos exposure, including mesothelioma and asbestosis.

Nevertheless, many of these companies purposely ignored or concealed these findings, allowing their employees to risk continued exposure and putting their toxic products on the public market. Furthermore, the lack of concern many of these company managers and executives showed for their employees remains an embarrassing reality of our past industry, as they so clearly valued profit over human life. Below is a list of companies responsible for manufacturing products containing asbestos.


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