Due to asbestos education, we now associate asbestos with a rare form of cancer called mesothelioma. At one time, however, asbestos was hailed as a miracle substance.
Asbestos is a naturally occurring strong, fibrous mineral that does not burn or conduct heat or electricity. According to the Asbestos Network, the ancient Greeks used asbestos for clothing, the ancient Romans used asbestos for construction, and warriors in the Middle Ages used asbestos to insulate their armor.
In the 1800’s, asbestos was used in steam locomotives to regulate temperatures. World War II saw the use of asbestos in ships. After the war ended, asbestos was commonly used in automobile construction and to insulate homes.
Attorneys have alleged that some asbestos manufacturers knew the dangers of asbestos as early as the 1900s and that almost all were aware by the 1930s to 1940s. However, the Environmental Protection Agency did not begin to regulate the use of asbestos until the 1970s.
Around that time, attorneys also began to file suit on behalf of workers and home owners who had developed mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos. In search of new clients, many attorneys began offering asbestos education to the general public. The education focused on health risks associated with asbestos.
Long Term Effects
One important fact many people learned from this asbestos education is that it may take ten to fifteen years for mesothelioma to develop after exposure to asbestos. For instance, young men who worked in the shipyards during World War II tended to start developing mesothelioma as they reached middle age. Until they were advised of their legal rights, these men often did not associate the work they had done with their current illness.
Attorneys weren’t the only ones providing asbestos education. In the 1980s, the government launched a campaign to remove asbestos from homes, public buildings, etc. In doing so, they attempted to educate families who owned older homes and might be at risk of asbestos exposure.
People who had to work with asbestos, also began to receive education on how to handle it as safely as possible, though as the Mesothelioma Online Resource points out, some workers still are not properly trained.
Today, many websites provide asbestos education as well. After researching asbestos exposure, people who feel they might be at risk should talk to their doctors as soon as possible. People suffering from asbestos-related illnesses may also want to consult an attorney, since many legal cases have been won on behalf of those exposed to asbestos.