For many years, asbestos was praised for its superb heat-resistant capabilities. To this day, no person can argue that fact. Asbestos is very heat-resistant. However, at what cost? Presently, asbestos is known for what it is: a carcinogenic substance. Many have been exposed to the toxic asbestos fibers in many applications. However, none seem quite so invasive as asbestos- containing clothing like asbestos in gloves gloves.
Asbestos in gloves were used mostly in industries that required the handling of very hot items. Steel plants and glassworks were common places to find these types of gloves. Even potters made use of them when extracting pots from blazing hot kilns. And while the use of asbestos in gloves for these applications no doubt prevented many burns and serious injury, the workers were exposed to asbestos fibers over a long period of time. Studies have shown that the older these gloves are, the more fibers are emitted into the air. As the material breaks down, the fibers scatter and can be inhaled.
Asbestos in Glassblower Mitts
Glassblower mitts are well-known to contain asbestos. Those who have worked in the glassblowing field in the last 50 or more years may have been exposed to asbestos. The dangerous mitts, along with hundreds of toxic asbestos products, are the reason many are filing lawsuits today after falling ill with mesothelioma, lung cancer or other forms of asbestos-related lung disease.
Asbestos in Mittens
Mittens are protective gloves that are used to insulate the hands from extremely high temperatures. Certain occupations, such as those in glass manufacturing, research and welding regularly use mittens. These gloves can be more than just heat resistant. They are also slash and tear resistant.
Asbestos-containing products (over 3,000 of them including mittens) were commonly used from the early 1900s until the 1980s. However, in recent years the use of such products has become suspect due to the health risks now associated with asbestos. Those who formerly used mittens with asbestos in them must now consider the potential health risks and move to alternatives in the hopes of avoiding continued exposure.
Typically, mittens with asbestos were made from chrysotile asbestos, the most common type used within United States industrial applications. It originates in Canada, though there are also sources of it in the United States and Europe . It has been debated whether this type of asbestos has the same serious health consequences as other forms like amosite (from South Africa) and riebeckite asbestos. Ultimately, all asbestos fibers are dangerous.
Asbestos use in different types of gloves and many other asbestos-containing products are dangerous to the human body. Even though most products containing it have been taken off the market, there are still homes that contain various asbestos products, including gloves made with asbestos. However, by keeping a mindful eye, you can reduce your risk of exposure.