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Asbestos is a mineral that forms as bundles of long, thin fibers that can be separated into durable pieces. This mineral, a combination of silicon and oxygen molecules, exists in two forms: amphibole and chrysotile, the former of which is more harmful to humans.
The substance was mined for commercial use ever since the 1800s. However, it was most popularly used during World War II for ship building. During the 20th century, asbestos use increased and was prominently used in the construction industry. Asbestos has also been used in floor tiling, paint coatings, adhesives, and plastics.
Although use of the substance is banned now, in the 19th and 20th centuries, asbestos was considered to be a miracle material. It was highly durable and resistant to fire, heat, and chemicals, making it a great protective agent. As a result, asbestos was often used in ceiling products, household products, adhesives, clay, cigarette filters, fertilizers, hair dryers, and paint. In addition, it was placed in building materials, including vinyl floor tiles, air-conditioning parts, countertops, and cement. Asbestos was widely used in household products such as ironing rests, slow cookers, mittens, and talcum powder. In the automotive industry, asbestos was used in clutch pads and brake linings.
Despite its usefulness, the substance is actually very dangerous. All commercial forms of asbestos are associated with lethal cancers and lung problems.
Asbestos is a major cause of mesothelioma. The condition begins when asbestos fibers are inhaled and get trapped in the body. The body's cells attack these fibers to get rid of them. However, they are unsuccessful, as they are too long and too thin. With prolonged exposure to asbestos, more cells pile up, leading to the growth of a tumor. Generally speaking, the tumor and its resulting symptoms don't appear until 20 to 50 years after initial exposure to asbestos.
Many construction and building companies working with asbestos knew about the health risks associated with this material. This means they knew that their workers could be affected and yet continued to use it and exposed workers to the substance. If you have worked with products containing asbestos, contact a mesothelioma specialist as soon as possible. Follow the link below to receive free information about this condition as well as treatment centers across the country and legal expertise. We're on your side.
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