How long have the Dangers of Asbestos been known?
Asbestos has been at the center of much legal controversy since the mid-19th century. In large part this controversy centers on a number of employers who, already aware that asbestos exposure is dangerous, nonetheless allowed their employees to be exposed to it anyway. As asbestos use finally became illegal, workers who had developed asbestos-related illnesses began suing their employers for knowingly exposing them to this hazard.
A History of Negligence
The usefulness of asbestos as an insulator and fire-resistant material meant that many companies were unwilling to take precautions against it, even knowing the dangers. The industrial revolution meant an increase in demand for asbestos products, which many companies were willing to fill – even at the cost of their employees’ wellbeing.
Although a definitive link to cancer was only proven a few decades ago, it has been known for a long time that exposure to asbestos has negative health effects. Around the turn of the 20th century, health and safety authorities in Great Britain noticed clear links between asbestos exposure in factories and lung disease.
In the early 20th century, post-mortem examinations on asbestos factory workers showed that their lungs were full of tiny asbestos fibers and cancerous growths. In 1936, a number of asbestos-related companies even commissioned a study on the effects of asbestos exposure – but only on the condition that they could withhold the results. Over the years, many of these companies systematically prevented the public from discovering the dangers of asbestos.
This recklessness endangered not only their employees, but the public at large. If you have developed an illness as a result of work-related exposure to asbestos, the resources on this website can put in you in contact with medical and legal professionals who are dedicated to helping you and others like you heal and find justice.
Victims of asbestos should seek medical attention immediately. Contact the Mesothelioma & Asbestos Help Center for more information on what procedures are available for victims of asbestos.