A Dirty Secret of Construction: The Harmful History of Asbestos - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

A Dirty Secret of Construction: The Harmful History of Asbestos

Posted:

asbestos

Originally posted on http://www.kake.com/story/40447200/a-dirty-secret-of-construction-the-harmful-history-of-asbestos

 

If you knew a product could cause serious illness, then would you continue using it?

Believe it or not, several industries did this very thing for decades with asbestos. Over time, researchers began to realize asbestos causes cancer. Almost inconceivably, it’s still getting imported despite the known dangers.

To understand how that’s possible, you need to learn the history of asbestos.

The Discovery of Asbestos

Asbestos is a natural mineral that can get formed into a fluffy and flexible fiber. The substance is resistant to heat, but it’s also a great insulator. This material can strengthen cement, paper, cloth, and plastic.

Archeologists suggest that our ancestors used asbestos as far back as 2400 BC. Experts have found asbestos in cooking utensils, pots, and other items.

In modern times, the material has been used in several industries like:

  • Construction
  • Automobile industries
  • Power and chemical industries
  • Manufacturing
  • Military
  • Preventing fires

Asbestos walls, insulation, tiles and more have been used in the US since about 1858.

The Hidden History of Asbestos

So, asbestos has been beneficial throughout the ages. Despite this, doctors began to recognize a connection between asbestos exposure and illness.

By 1918, the United States government confirmed the risks of asbestos. They began reporting statistics yearly. In 1933, doctors reported on the first case of asbestosis in America.

By 1934, researchers made the link between cancer and workplace exposure to asbestos. But, are there hidden secrets within asbestos history?

Analyzing asbestosis history makes it clear the disease was well-known before getting named. According to scholars, the dangers of asbestos may have been recognized as early as 61 AD.

What’s the Current State of Asbestos?

Around 1949, the mainstream media, doctors, and politicians all accepted the truth. Asbestos causes serious harm, and the mineral is an occupational hazard.

Despite accepting the truth, asbestos dangers haven’t faded. It’s horrifying, but asbestos is still getting discovered in products. Recently, the mineral was found in preschool crayons.

Asbestos, which is often discovered during renovations, must get disposed of in a safe way. Demolitions pose a problem because some asbestos is friable.

What is friable asbestos? Friable asbestos can get crumbled and released into the air. Asbestos insulation is very friable. Nonfriable asbestos is usually in shingles, fire doors, or asbestos tile.

What should you do when you’re planning a remodel and you’re unsure about asbestos? Here’s a brief guide:

  • Identify your concerns
  • Get an asbestos assessment and test through NSUK
  • Assess the results
  • Hire an asbestos abatement company

Following these steps will help you avoid a preventable injury.

The Future of Asbestos

The history of asbestos reveals serious concerns. Industries may continue using dangerous products despite the risk. Sometimes, government regulations must get put into place to protect citizens.

Have you or your family been exposed to asbestos? Do you have a story you’d like to share with us? Reach out to us by leaving a comment in the box below. We’d love to hear from you!

Powered by Frankly