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Is Asbestos Still A Problem?

Sadly, the answer is “yes.” Although we all know better than to trust asbestos these days, the material still makes its way into new products while old asbestos products still aren’t completely gone from our homes and offices. As a nation, we’ve seen exposure and cancer rates go way down since the 1970s, but if you contract mesothelioma, asbestos is still the most likely culprit.

How It Began

Asbestos is a kind of mineral that naturally occurs and can turn into fibers by just rubbing the stone. This is because the mineral crystals are long and very thin, just like cotton fibers and wool. You can add asbestos fibers to cotton and wool thread, you can leave them loose to make building insulation, and you can mix it into cement and roofing tiles.

The reason you would do this is because asbestos has a lot of useful properties. Since it’s a mineral it can resist fire, loose fibers can absorb sound and heat, and you can use it for flexible electrical insulation.

But just like lead, all those uses are nothing compared to one deadly downside. Asbestos fibers are stiff and fragile, and so microscopic bits will flake off and go airborne. From the air, it can end up in your lungs, and since it’s a mineral it’ll never leave. Instead, it irritates your lung tissue and can cause lung cancer and mesothelioma, cancer that affects the lining of your lungs and other organs.

What Changed

During the Industrial Revolution, asbestos mining and the number of applications hit new heights. Manufacturers were adding asbestos to home boilers, electric wires, vehicle brake pads, roofing and siding, paper, clothing, insulation, and curtains.

But as early as 1899, medical scientists were noticing that asbestos could make people sick. By the 1930s the link was undeniable and the asbestos industry set up regulations to protect its workers from the deadly material. It was only in 1973 that a civil court case proved that asbestos manufacturers both knew about the dangers and refused to spread the word about them. And it took the rest of the decade for the government to pass regulations banning asbestos from most products and for manufacturers to phase those products out.

The Lingering Damage

There is still a shocking amount of asbestos in homes and other buildings. Because it wound up in so many products, including things that are hard to reach or identify like building insulation and vinyl flooring, asbestosis and mesothelioma are still potential hazards today, and it’s very hard to prove a cause and effect unless you worked with asbestos insulation since the disease can take 40 years to appear.

Asbestos still makes it into modern products like brake pads and roofing tiles, although it’s in very limited quantities when it’s manufactured in America. Other nations still don’t have strong restrictions, and even here testing for asbestos is not part of a standard building inspection. The decades-long delay on mesothelioma makes people less worried about regulating it, but to those who have the disease there’s no delay about it.

So if you have mesothelioma, the odds are four in five that you got it from long-term exposure to asbestos. And unless you were clearly warned that this would happen, you are owed compensation for your disease. If you live in Florida, you should contact , Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, and Walsh for a free case review, advice on how to gather evidence for your case, and some of the best legal representation you can find in the state.

Attorney David Goldman has a strong belief that everyone should be treated fairly and those with the means should do what they can to bring justice in all areas of our society. That belief has led him to help Florida's injured from being taken advantage of by corporations and insurance companies. Since 1989 David Goldman has been fighting for the rights of Floridians both as an attorney and by personally supporting our community.

Is Asbestos Still A Problem?

Goldman Babboni Fernandez
Murphy & Walsh

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