What Is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a naturally-occurring mineral that resists exposure to fire, sound, water, and chemicals. It is composed of millions of fibers, which bind together to create a light yet virtually indestructible material.
Asbestos is mined from natural deposits around the world. Once removed from the ground, it can be processed and developed into a large number of products.
Since asbestos naturally resists many elements, it was used in thousands of products. Dozens of industries — and countless jobs — came to rely on asbestos.
Asbestos was used in:
- Construction materials
Yet, the benefits of asbestos could not outweigh one major drawback: If asbestos fibers are inhaled or swallowed, it can lead to mesothelioma, a deadly and incurable cancer.
The manufacturers of asbestos-containing products knew the health risks of asbestos decades before the public did. Instead of keeping people safe, these companies put profits first and actively concealed evidence that asbestos was dangerous.
Eventually, the truth came out and these manufacturers faced thousands of lawsuits from victims who developed mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases.
If you were exposed to asbestos — and are now suffering from mesothelioma or an asbestos-related illness — you may be able to take legal action and receive financial compensation from these negligent companies.
Quick Facts About Asbestos
- 27 million people were exposed to asbestos between 1940 and 1979, according to data presented by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR).
- Over 45,000 people in the U.S. died from mesothelioma, one of the most notable asbestos-caused diseases, from 1999 to 2015, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- Every year, asbestos exposure leads to approximately 250,000 deaths worldwide, according to a 2018 report from the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.
- Over 90% of asbestos-related deaths stem from workplace asbestos exposure.