Saturday, January 20, 2007

Mesothelioma and Asbestos

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The cause of a number of ailments and diseases, including the deadly cancer mesothelioma, asbestos has actually been in use for centuries. The name asbestos was given to this mineral by the Ancient Greeks, and the word literally means inextinguishable. The Greeks gave it this name because of its amazing fireproof qualities, although they also noted the harmful effects that asbestos had upon workers.

Asbestos is a soft and flexible, which has been widely used for many years for a variety of things. The modern use for this mineral is for insulation, and it has been used in a wide range of items and structures, from ceilings and walls to toasters and hairdryers. This mineral became popular during the industrial revolution as an effective and safe form of insulation – safe in that it was fireproof, but certainly not safe in any other sense. Although the risks involved in using and working with asbestos had been observed several hundred years earlier, these risks were not taken into account when asbestos became widely used for insulation.

It was not until the 1900s that the facts regarding the risks involved to workers began to re-emerge. An English physician carried out a post-mortem on a man who had worked with asbestos for many years, and he found traces of fibres and dust in the man’s lungs. The doctor stated that the man had died due to his exposure to this mineral. Over the next twenty or so years professionals in many countries began to notice the fact that disease, illness and death was uncommonly high amongst asbestos workers.

In the mid 1920s, an English doctor made the first diagnosis of asbestosis, and this was followed by a study which showed that 25% of English asbestos workers showed signs of a related lung disease. Laws were then stepped up in England to provide better ventilation and more protection to workers who were regularly exposed to asbestos. These steps were slowly followed by other countries over the next decade.

This protection was slow to be implemented and did not prove all that effective. Although asbestos manufacturers and companies that used the mineral were now aware of these studies and the risks involved to workers, they continued to use asbestos widely, exposing many workers to the hazards associated with it. These employees continued to work with asbestos, totally oblivious of the harm that it was capable of causing. Asbestos continued to be widely used until the mid-seventies, by which time many workers has been exposed and were already unknowingly affected by what we now know as mesothelioma.

Today, as the disease begins to take its toll on the asbestos workers of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, many new cases of the disease are being diagnosed each year. In fact, the number of cases is rising so quickly that many law firms have employed or trained lawyers to deal specifically with these types of cases. The irresponsible companies and manufacturers that were responsible for this exposure have been sued for billions of dollars, with many of them going bankrupt as a result of compensation payouts.
Although the effects of asbestos have been observed, tested and verified, this mineral is still used today in many places around the world. Although the laws and regulations regarding working with asbestos are far more stringent these days, this doesn’t change the fact that this mineral can cause more harm than good and has claimed many victims from all over the world in the form of the deadly disease mesothelioma

1 comment:

Amin said...

Hi,

I am impressed with your blog content.

Thanks for being able to share with others the mesothelioma topics.

Regards, Amy
Mesothelioma Lung Cancer
www.mesotheliomalungcancer.org

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Mesothelioma and Asbestos

Mesothelioma and Asbestos

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